Your location: Home

Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Information and Decision Support System for Climate Change Studies in South East South America (IDSS-SESA Climate Change)

The IDSS SESA is based on the linking and integration of

  • Maps and associated databases of soils, weather, land use, and political divisions;
  • National and regional statistics (production, socioeconomic, demographic);
  • Prices of inputs and products;
  • Remotely sensed information (crops, pastures, natural resources, climate);
  • Simulation models of crop, pasture and forest growth, development and production (DSSAT, APSIM);
  • Climate change scenarios (GCMs, RCMs, and statistical methods);
  • A statistical package for analyzing climate data and generating synthetic weather (LARS and MARKSIM);
  • Methods for land use evaluation and for defining land use feasibility classes;
  • A simulation model of soil carbon and nutrient dynamics (CENTURY);
  • Tools for agricultural applications of global positioning systems (GPS); and
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) to process and analyze maps and databases and to generate information that can be easily understandable and applied by agricultural stakeholders.

Climate change scenarios are defined using three methods:

  1. Studying the changes in climate during the last 100 years and projecting those changes for the near future;
  2. Using sensitivity analyses, i.e., modifying observed weather data with combinations of changes in temperatures max and min and rainfall and generating synthetic weather data;
  3. Using GCMs to estimate monthly anomalies of weather (temperatures and rainfall) or atmospheric variables (SLP, geopotential at 850 mb, etc.) and modifying the observed climatic data.
Appropriate Use To study the impacts of possible climate change scenarios on different agricultural production systems (livestock, crops, mixed) and on the natural resource base, and explore adaptive technological options (crop/pasture management, input use, mixes of crop and pasture types).
Scope Agro-ecological zone level (national, regional).
Key Output Changes in agricultural productivity and economic results, variation in agricultural and environmental risks, etc., for different climate change scenarios. Produces outputs (e.g., maps, tables, etc.) in formats easily understood by non-specialist users such as policy makers and farmers.
Key Input Soils, weather, and land use data; national and regional statistics of crop/livestock production; prices of inputs and products.
Ease of Use For trained agronomists
Training Required Requires training on the basic tools included in the IDSS: simulation models, GIS, weather generators, and statistical analyses.
Training Available Training is available for some of the IDSS components (DSSAT, APSIM, CENTURY).
Computer Requirements Windows-based PC

Used in INIA-Uruguay, INTA-Argentina, IAPAR-Brazil, EMBRAPA-Trigo, Brazil, and the AIACC project LA 27 (pdf-icon Reports/Final Reports/FinalRept_AIACC_LA27.pdf).

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Walter E. Baethgen  IFDC-Uruguay, Juan M. Perez 2917 Apt. 501, Montevideo, Uruguay; Tel: 598.2.712.0838; e-mail:

Agustín Giménez, INIA La Estanzuela, Colonia, Uruguay 70000; Tel: 598.574.8000.

Graciela Magrin, INTA Castelar, Buenos Aires; Tel: 54.11.4621.1684.

Cost Not identified

Baethgen, W.E., R. Faría, A. Giménez, and P. Wilkens. 2001. Information and decision support systems for the agricultural sector. In Proceedings — Third International Symposium on Systems Approaches for Agricultural Development, Lima, Peru, 8-10 November 1999 [CD-ROM computer file]. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru.