Barley Vulnerability

Key messages:

  • Based on an indicator approach, the agricultural sector in relation to future barley yield faces low to moderate vulnerability due to changing drought conditions
  • Vulnerability is a combination of biophysical impacts and the capacity of the agricultural sector to adapt to changing climate conditions

Why is the content of this map important?

Barley represents just under 20% of total cereals production in the EU and is the 3rd largest cereal crop relative to the total production. This map combines estimated changes in barley production with an estimate of the adaptive capacity of the agricultural sector, and highlights areas that may be more vulnerable than others.

Which sectors are affected by this result?

Vulnerability of specific crops is most relevant for the agricultural sector, although crop production and extreme events lowering that output can have an impact on consumer prices at regional and world markets.

What is shown on the maps?

Data visualized on the map are a combination of estimates of the difference between current and future barley yields and the adaptive capacity (AC) of the agricultural sector to cope with increasing drought hazards, producing an index of vulnerability. The vulnerability index was limited to grid cells in which over 5% are currently used for crop production. Lower scores mean little to no future vulnerability, with moderate scores indicating increasing impacts with which farmers can cope. High values indicate possible areas which will be unable to cope with these future changes.

The majority of areas producing barley will be faced with only small to moderate challenges in adapting to changing drought conditions, due to the combination of relatively low impacts and moderate adaptive capacity.

Details and further information:

This estimate of vulnerability is the combination of biophysical impacts with adaptive capacity. Areas with low impacts and high adaptive capacity receive lower vulnerability scores, increasing as impacts increase and/or AC decreases. AC is estimated via four capitals indicator approach, which uses three indicators of physical, social, financial, natural, and human capitals, aggregated to form a single AC index, as can be seen in the Atlas map on assessing agricultural AC.

Additional information:

To identify vulnerability, adaptive capacity projected for different regions was combined with potential impacts estimated by the EPIC model. EPIC was driven by the five mandatory climate simulations. Hence, the ensemble consists of 5 simulations in total.

vulnerability categorical values
0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16-20
very low low moderate high very high


Keith Williges

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)