The experiment is unique in that it includes grazing animals and has been running for so long. Now 22 years old, FACE has produced data sets that scientists from all over the world are still finding new and innovative applications for as well as becoming the established and key plank of our “Climate change and the pastoral sector: Impacts and adaptation” programme funded by MBIE’s SSIF.
FACE experiment’s data sets are used to verify models and contribute to meta-analyses, as well as to improve climate change impact studies and adaptation testing. Adapted technologies (such as climate proof plants) can also be directly tested in the FACE to see if they are going to work as expected under climate change. Data and key outputs of the FACE experiment have also been integrated into an international model: the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM).
Scientists can use APSIM to simulate agricultural systems that cover a range of plant, animal, soil, climate and management interactions and visualise potential future scenarios, allowing them to explore potential impacts and plan adaptation strategies. APSIM’s AgPasture module can accurately simulate pasture systems in New Zealand, across a wide range of soil types and climates.
The data sets from the FACE experiments are used to check that the output from APSIM gives a valid projection of the future. This provides confidence that impact and adaptation studies for the pastoral sector give a realistic assessment of a future under climate change.