6 Land-use

In this section we describe how land use it modelled in WITCH. Given the importance of land use emissions, of the link between agriculture, biomass energy and forest management, modelling land-use is of key importance in integrated assessment models. Rather than being modelled in its full detail, land-use in WITCH is represented by the mean response functions produced by the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) land-use model (Havlik et al. 2014). GLOBIOM is a partial equilibrium model that covers agriculture and forestry, including bioenergy. It is used for analysing land-use scenarios over many years. In GLOBIOM, the world is divided into 30 economic regions, in which consumer behaviour is modelled through isoelastic demand functions. Commodity uses “Simulation Units”, which are aggregates of 5 to 30 arcmin pixels belonging to the same altitude, slope, and soil class in the same country. For crops, grass, and forest products, Leontief production functions covering alternative production systems are calibrated from biophysical models including EPIC (Izaurralde et al. 2006). Economic optimization is based on a spatial equilibrium approach and regional price-quantity equilibria are computed. The model is calibrated to year 2000 activity levels and then recursively solved in 10-year time steps from 2000 to 2050 (Herrero et al. 2014).


Havlik, P., H. Valin, M. Herrero, M. Obersteiner, E. Schmid, M. C. Rufino, A. Mosnier, et al. 2014. “Climate Change Mitigation Through Livestock System Transitions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (10). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 3709–14.

Izaurralde, RC, Jimmy R Williams, William B McGill, Norman J Rosenberg, and MC Quiroga Jakas. 2006. “Simulating Soil c Dynamics with Epic: Model Description and Testing Against Long-Term Data.” Ecological Modelling 192 (3). Elsevier: 362–84.

Herrero, Mario, Petr Havlik, J McIntire, Amanda Palazzo, and Hugo Valin. 2014. “African Livestock Futures: Realizing the Potential of Livestock for Food Security, Poverty Reduction and the Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa.”