The determinants of crop yields in Uganda: what is the role of climatic and non-climatic factors?

2018 February 21

Epule, T., Ford, J., Lwasa, S., Nabaasa, B., Buyinza, A. (2018). The determinants of crop yields in Uganda: what is the role of climatic and non-climatic factors? Agriculture & Food Security. 7:10.

Background: It is widely accepted that crop yields will be affected by climate change. However, the role played by climate in affecting crop yields vis-a-vis non-climatic stresses, is often unclear, limiting decision choices around efforts to promote increased production in light of multiple stresses.

Results: This study quantifies the role of climatic and non-climatic factors affecting multiple crop yields in Uganda, utilizing a systematic approach which involves the use of a two-stage multiple linear regression to identify and char-acterize the most important drivers of crop yield, examine the location of the key drivers, identify the socio-economic implications of the drivers and identify policy options to enhance agricultural production. We find that non-climatic drivers of crop yields such as forest area dynamics (p= 0.012), wood fuel (p= 0.032) and usage of tractors (0.041) are more important determinants of crop yields than climatic drivers such as precipitation, temperature and CO2 emis-sions from forest clearance. Climatic drivers are found to multiply existing risks facing production, the significance of which is determined by variability and inadequate distribution of precipitation over the crop growing seasons.

Conclusion: The significance and validity of these results is observed in an f-statistic of 50 for the final optimized model when compared to the initial model with an f-statistic of 19.3. Research and agricultural policies have to be streamlined to include not only the climatic elements but also the non-climatic drivers of global, regional and national agricultural systems.

Dylan testifies before Senate

2018 February 15

Dylan Clark, testified in front of the Senate Fisheries and Oceans Standing Committee on February 13th. During the hearing, Dylan shared results from the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group’s research over the past 5 years on Inuit land-use and search and rescue. In Dylan’s testimony, he highlighted the need for additional prevention and emergency response resources across the region, emphasizing the inequality between south and north search and rescue coverage, and increasing demand across the Canadian Arctic.

Read Dylan’s opening statement here, and watch the full testimony here!


Antonia hosts Qualitative Comparative Analysis workshop @ McGill

2018 January 29


From January 22 to 24, 2018, Antonia organized and hosted a methods workshop on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) at McGill. Professor Benoît Rihoux and Priscilla Álamos-Concha from Université catholique de Louvain taught the three-day intensive training on QCA. As a research approach, QCA is geared towards systematic cross-case comparison, a form of synthesis between ‘case-oriented’ and ‘variable-oriented’ approaches, the formalization of statements of necessity and sufficiency, an emphasis on complex causality, the possibility to formulate modest generalizations.

As a set of techniques, Benoit and Priscilla provided training in crisp-set QCA (csQCA) and fsQCA (fuzzy-set QCA) and discussed their different uses, including typology building and theory testing. Participants used different software options, such as TOSMANA and FS/QCA. The 18 workshop participants came from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The group brought many different perspectives from their work and research, including expertise in crisis management, health evaluation, business management, and forestry.

James collaborates at UArctic meeting

2018 January 22

In order to tighten and increase knowledge sharing between Arctic researchers in the UK and Russia, a workshop was hosted at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) by UArctic. Talks covered a range of subjects from the direction of the SPRI’s research directions, ecosystem changes in the Arctic, and impacts of northern industrial activities.

More specifically,

Henry Burgess, head of Arctic office (Natural Environment Research Council, UK) described capabilities and next steps of UK research activities, Marina Kalinina, UArctic VP Interregional Cooperation presented challenges and opportunities of academic mobility in the circumpolar region and Igor Osipovhead of UArctic Science&Research Analytics Institute spoke about Arctic research analytics.

Overall, collaborations like this allow researchers to better communicate and collaborate on interests they share.

Final day of Arctic Change 2017

2017 December 15

As the Arctic Change 2017 conference comes to a close, it’s worth highlighting two @ccarg presentations from Thursday.

Dylan Clark had his second presentation of the conference, this time discussing Constraints and opportunities for Arctic search and rescue prevention and response.

Over the past three years I have been examining search and rescue across Nunavut. We have highlighted how social and environmental changes are influencing rates of search and rescue. And, we are currently looking at emergency response capacities as well as community resources for prevention and response. As an example, in partnership with Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, we are exploring potential uses for UAVs in hazard identification and SAR. – Dylan

Read more about Dylan’s work from his published articles on the subject:

Emergency response in a rapidly changing arctic

Vulnerability to unintentional injuries associated with land-use activities and search and rescue in Nunavut, Canada

The role of environmental factors in search and rescue incidents in Nunavut, Canada

Additionally on Thursday, Ella Belfer presented on her article Representation of Indigenous peoples in climate change reporting. 

Based on a review of eight national newspapers in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, I will be discussing the ways in which Indigenous peoples have been covered in climate change reporting over the past decade, with a particular focus on representations of Inuit communities. The impacts of climate change are portrayed as having severe ecological, sociocultural, and health/safety impacts for Indigenous peoples, who are often framed as victims and “harbingers” of climate change. The lack of substantive discussion of colonialism or marginalization in the reviewed stories limits media portrayal of the structural roots of vulnerability, rendering climate change as a problem for, rather than of society. – Ella