Joint Seminar: Flows of virtual land and water through global trade of agricultural products

Globalization allows the consumption of products that were produced in other countries and thus did not need local land and water resources. Consequently, along with agricultural products, countries virtually trade the land and water that were needed for their production. “Virtual” means in this context that the resources are not physically embedded in the products. This PhD thesis advances the research field on virtual flows through a number of innovative objectives: a) assessing water productivities at present, and for the first time, also under climate change conditions, while identifying the determinants of the spatial patters, b) analyzing agricultural yields globally under climate change conditions, for the first time accounting extensively for uncertainties in development and climate scenarios, c) assessing comprehensively international virtual resources flows together with water footprints, separating for the first time the green and blue components, and including the first analysis on virtual land flows and savings, and d) offering the first analysis on current and future dependence on ex situ land and water resources, accounting for population growth and improvements in agricultural productivities. These analyses are based mainly on calculations from the biosphere and hydrology model Lund-Potsdam-Jena model (LPJmL) which uses climate, CO2 concentrations, land use patterns and soil structure as inputs to simulate, at 0.5° resolution and daily time steps, sowing dates, photosynthesis, phenology, maturity, production and carbon stocks of 11 crop functional types, an additional commodity group called “other crops” and managed grasslands. 




13:30 h


Bundesstr. 53, room 022/023
Seminar Room 022/023, Ground Floor, Bundesstrasse 53, 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg


Marianela Fader, PIK


Antje Weitz

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