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reSilienT fARminG by Adaptive microclimaTe managEment

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - STARGATE (reSilienT fARminG by Adaptive microclimaTe managEment)

Reporting period: 2021-04-01 to 2022-09-30

STARGATE develop’s a breakthrough, multiscale and holistic climate-smart agriculture methodology, capitalizing innovations in the field of microclimate and weather risk management and in the field of landscape design. It is based on Earth Observation, weather/climate intelligence and IoT technologies to support a more effective farm/parcel management and related options for adaptation to climatic changes. At the same time, local and regional policy formulation based on the STARGATE’s climate smart tools is leading to better landscape management, protection against climatic risks and implementation related to mitigation on microclimate changes. STARGATE is following the PPP model using the Living Lab approach, to shape a Climate-Smart Agriculture multi‐actor regional framework by connecting research organizations, policy-making organizations, ICT companies, farmers and other stakeholders. Moreover, STARGATE, studies the benefits of applying agri‐environmental‐climate technical solutions to achieve sustainable agricultural development at the field and landscape level including livestock farming and agroforestry. This means that STARGATE support’s farm management modernization and at the same time, allowing the understanding of the underlying ecological factors that shape the rural landscape.
During the 1st and 2nd reporting periods, STARGATE focused and worked on the following objectives:
The shaping of the STARGATE community through the engagement of the pilot stakeholders: A strong stakeholder community have been developed consisted of farmers, farmers associations, agronomists, water managers, public sector agencies, government, agri‐businesses, civil society organizations and experts in 6 countries and 16 different use cases.
The Definition of the STARGATE pilot case studies through the active participation of the pilot stakeholders/users: 16 use cases have been identified covering different aspects of the crop and livestock production, as well as different agroclimatic zones and user segments.
The understanding of the services/user requirements for weather/climate information in the pilots, as well as on the needs and challenges on the adoption of climate-smart agriculture technologies from the pilots: A detailed user requirements database have been developed regarding the needs of pilot sites in weather/climate information including the spatiotemporal characteristics of them.
The understanding of pilot data requirements and defining the STARGATE data protocol collection: A detailed analysis of the use cases from a data management perspective that based on them the data collection protocols of the STARGATE data management platform is designed of.
The atmospheric data assimilation system: A workflow chain for an atmospheric data assimilation system has been developed. Satellite and ground‐based observations are pre‐processed and ingested into the assimilation system to produce high quality atmospheric analysis fields. These are then used as the starting point of the forecasting model, which subsequently produces weather forecasts at high spatial resolutions. The coupled system of analysis/forecasts is deployed for two separate domain areas covering all pilot sites in 6 countries.
The multimodel ensemble numerical weather prediction system: A system was created from 3 different operational weather prediction models of METEOBLUE, AUTH and AGROAPPS, providing weather forecasts of up to 7 days.
The Sub-seasonal to seasonal climate predictions system: A system has been developed, providing operetionaly climate predictions spaning from 1 month to 6months. The climate predictions are presented in a meaningful way of probabilities and anomalies that can guide the decision process chain of the agricultural sector.
The crop-specific risk analysis / monitoring / prediction method for the pilots based on historical climatic data: Several climate risk scenarios have been developed for each pilot use case based on temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, soil moisture, wind and crop type.
The suite of Agroclimatic indicators for each pilot site: 16 different agro-climatic indicators have been developed that try to take into account all the aspects of climate impact on the agricultural production of each pilot site.
Assessing the impact of the cultivation practices on the local microclimate: Several numerical experiments took place in 3 pilot areas, to quantify the impact of irrigated/non-irrigated and till/no-till agriculture in the near-surface atmospheric environment, especially on the intensity of the extreme weather events.
Perform a climatological analysis of past and future climate conditions of the pilot areas: A climatological analysis for each use case has been performed in order to identify climatic trends and assessing the impact of anthropogenic global warming in the pilot sites. The climatic analysis was referred to temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, evapotranspiration, solar radiation and wind.
The Strategic and tactical climate-smart decision tools: A suite has been designed for STARGATE. These tools will be used to support policy makers, farmers and agricultural consultants to use agricultural inputs and energy more efficiently, while reducing the agricultural emissions and preserving the environment. These tools will be developed using the state‐of‐the‐art of precision farming methodologies using earth observations and weather data, along with crop models and machine learning algorithms in order to support the previous farming procedures.
The land/crop suitability methodology: A suitability methodology have been developed that will be used by STARGATE for the efficient land-use planning and for crop variety selection to enhance the adaptability of the farming sector in the pilot sites under a changing climate.
The multi-actor validation framework: STARGATE establishes the fundamental concepts and methods for setting up, implementing and monitoring the participatory process that will be carried out in all pilot sites during the whole project lifetime.
Effective dissemination and communication of the project results: A dissemination pack have been produced for the effective dissemination and communication of the projects results.
STARGATE's contribution beyond the state-of-the-art in applied climatic data solutions is the implementation of analytics models to support local and regional policy formulation and implementation related to mitigation on microclimate changes. Once the policy development process expands the evidence base and data sources beyond the traditional approach, there will be a need for global data sets for comparative analysis including meteorological, climatic analysis, satellite data sources to improve decision-making processes. STARGATE is leveraging access to these data and its climatic platforms including developed model platforms to foster easy adoption by policy¬making bodies. STARGATE provides innovative components for the visualization of big data with an emphasis on geospatial visualization and dynamic charting. Additionally, the project has been designed so that its results may be further developed in other projects, or adapted to broader contexts (i.e. agro-food industry, climate adaptations, food security, precision farming, etc), providing opportunities for influencing policies in a wide range of issues, so that project results last longer and benefit more interested parties.
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