[The summary was adapted from the GAEZ Web site]
The Global Agro-ecological Zoning (GAEZ) website and CD-ROM was
produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO) with the collaboration of the International Institute
for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The data were based on an
application of the Agro-ecological Zones (AEZ) ... methodology.
The AEZ methodology follows an environmental approach; it provides a
standardized framework for the characterization of climate, soil and
terrain conditions relevant to agricultural production. Crop modeling
and environmental matching procedures are used to identify
crop-specific limitations of prevailing climate, soil and terrain
resources, under assumed levels of inputs and management
conditions. This part of the AEZ methodology provides maximum
potential and agronomically attainable crop yields for basic land
resources units (usually grid-cells in the recent digital databases).
The AEZ computations were completed for a range of climatic
conditions, including a reference climate (average of period
1961-1990), individual historical years of 1960 to 1996, and scenarios
of future climate based on the published outputs of various global
climate models. Hence, the AEZ results consistently quantify impacts
on land productivity of historical climate variability as well as of
potential future climate change.
The data on the web site consist of tables, figures, animations,
graphics, and data sets of soil, climate, and agricultural conditions
that affect land and agricultural productivity.
The data can be downloaded from the web site: