[permaculture] Final Report The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the USA Report (USDA)

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Wed Jun 25 10:31:18 EDT 2008


The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, 
Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity
http://www.usda.gov/oce/global_change/sap_2007_FinalReport.htm

PDF's of Final Report
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-3/final-report/default.htm

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program report 
“Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 (SAP 4.3): 
The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, 
Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity 
in the United States ” integrates the Federal 
research efforts of 13 agencies on climate and global change.

The report has 38 authors from the universities, 
national laboratories, non-governmental 
organizations, and Federal service. SAP 4.3 has 
undergone expert peer review by 14 scientists 
through a Federal Advisory Committee formed by 
the USDA, and includes over 1,000 references. 
USDA was the lead agency for this report as part of its commitment to CCSP.

The report focuses on the next 25 to 50 years, 
and finds that climate change is already 
affecting U.S. water resources, agriculture, land 
resources, and biodiversity, and will continue to do so.

USDA Climate Change Activities (Fact Sheets):

Agricultural Research Service

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

Economic Research Service

Farm Service Agency

Forest Service

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Risk Management Agency
USDA is using the report’s findings in the 
development of a new Strategic Plan for Climate 
Change research. The Forest Service is 
integrating climate change into National Forest 
Service Management Plans and is providing 
guidance to Forest Managers on how to respond and 
adapt to climate change. The Natural Resources 
Conservation Service and Farm Services Agency are 
encouraging actions to reduce GHG emissions and 
increase carbon sequestration through 
conservation programs. USDA’s Risk Management 
Agency has prepared tools to manage drought 
risks, and is conducting an assessment of the 
risks of climate change on the crop insurance 
program. USDA is also providing guidance to 
landowners to enable them to estimate their greenhouse gas footprints.

The effects of climate change on agriculture, 
land resources, water resources, and biodiversity in the United States
Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3

land resources, water resources, and biodiversity in the United States
Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3

The effects of climate change on agriculture, 
land resources, water resources, and biodiversity in the United States
Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3

A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science 
Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

CONVENING LEAD AUTHORS: Peter Backlund, Anthony Janetos, and David Schimel

MANAGING EDITOR: Margaret Walsh

The effects of climate change on agriculture, 
land resources, water resources, and biodiversity in the United States
Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3

William Hohenstein (202-720-6698)
Brenda Chapin (202-720-5447)

U.S. Climate Change Science Program RELEASES
REPORT ON THE EFFECTS OF Climate Change ON
AGRICULTURE, LAND AND WATER RESOURCES AND BIODIVERSITY

         WASHINGTON, May 27, 2008 -- The U.S. 
Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) today 
released “Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 
(SAP 4.3): The Effects of Climate Change on 
Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and 
Biodiversity in the United States.”  The CCSP 
integrates the federal research efforts of 13 
agencies on climate and global change.  Today’s 
report is one of the most extensive examinations 
of climate impacts on U.S. ecosystems.  USDA is 
the lead agency for this report and coordinated 
its production as part of its commitment to CCSP.

         “The report issued today provides 
practical information that will help land owners 
and resource managers make better decisions to 
address the risks of climate change,” said 
Agriculture Chief Economist Joe Glauber.

         The report was written by 38 authors 
from the universities, national laboratories, 
non-governmental organizations, and federal 
service.  The report underwent expert peer review 
by 14 scientists through a Federal Advisory 
Committee formed by the USDA.  The National 
Center for Atmospheric Research also coordinated 
in the production of the report.  It is posted on the CCSP Web site at:
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-3/default.php.

         The report finds that climate change is 
already affecting U.S. water resources, 
agriculture, land resources, and biodiversity, 
and will continue to do so.  Specific findings include:

·       Grain and oilseed crops will mature more 
rapidly, but increasing temperatures will 
increase the risk of crop failures, particularly 
if precipitation decreases or becomes more variable.

·       Higher temperatures will negatively 
affect livestock.  Warmer winters will reduce 
mortality but this will be more than offset by 
greater mortality in hotter summers.    Hotter 
temperatures will also result in reduced 
productivity of livestock and dairy animals.

·       Forests in the interior West, the 
Southwest, and Alaska are already being affected 
by climate change with increases in the size and 
frequency of forest fires, insect outbreaks and 
tree mortality. These changes are expected to continue.

·       Much of the United States has experienced 
higher precipitation and streamflow, with 
decreased drought severity and duration, over the 
20th century.  The West and Southwest, however, 
are notable exceptions, and increased drought 
conditions have occurred in these regions.

·       Weeds grow more rapidly under elevated 
atmospheric CO2.  Under projections reported in 
the assessment, weeds migrate northward and are 
less sensitive to herbicide applications.

·       There is a trend toward reduced mountain 
snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt runoff in the Western United States.

·       Horticultural crops (such as tomato, 
onion, and fruit) are more sensitive to climate 
change than grains and oilseed crops.

·       Young forests on fertile soils will 
achieve higher productivity from elevated 
atmospheric CO2 concentrations.  Nitrogen 
deposition and warmer temperatures will increase 
productivity in other types of forests where water is available.

·       Invasion by exotic grass species into 
arid lands will result from climate change, 
causing an increased fire frequency.  Rivers and 
riparian systems in arid lands will be negatively impacted.

·       A continuation of the trend toward 
increased water use efficiency could help 
mitigate the impacts of climate change on water resources.

·       The growing season has increased by 10 to 
14 days over the last 19 years across the 
temperate latitudes.  Species’ distributions have also shifted.

·       The rapid rates of warming in the Arctic 
observed in recent decades, and projected for at 
least the next century, are dramatically reducing 
the snow and ice covers that provide denning and 
foraging habitat for polar bears.

         USDA agencies are responding to the 
risks of climate change.  For example, the Forest 
Service is incorporating climate change risks 
into National Forest Management Plans and is 
providing guidance to forest managers on how to 
respond and adapt to climate change.  The Natural 
Resources Conservation Service and Farm Services 
Agency are encouraging actions to reduce 
greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon 
sequestration through conservation 
programs.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency has 
prepared tools to manage drought risks and is 
conducting an assessment of the risks of climate 
change on the crop insurance program.

For more information, please visit:
§       http://www.usda.gov/oce/global_change/
§       http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap4-3/default.php or
                   http://www.sap43.ucar.edu/.

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