USDA Report: Climate Change Threatens Agriculture
Posted 12 February 2013 in
The USDA has issued a new report which concludes that rising global temperatures will have acute, negative effects on US agriculture, including decreased crop yields and tremendous costs to farmers in the form of new pests and weeds.
Renewable fuel is working, right now, to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to changing climate patterns and threaten agriculture. Last year, renewable fuel use slashed GHG emissions from vehicles on America’s roads by 33 million metric tons.
Here’s what you need to know from USDA:
The climate is changing because of fossil fuel emissions, including those from oil:
Burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and a variety of agricultural practices and industrial processes are rapidly increasing the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. These changes in atmospheric composition are increasing temperatures, altering the timing and distribution of precipitation, and affecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems (p. 23).
Climate change will cause more droughts at home and around the globe:
Climate change projections into the future suggest an increased variability of temperature and precipitation…[and] emerging patterns project increased incidence of areas experiencing droughts and periods of more intense precipitation (p. 5).
Rising temperatures will affect food production in the US and hunger globally:
Crops … will be affected by increased exposure to extreme temperature events and increased risk of exceeding the maximum temperature thresholds, potentially leading to catastrophic losses (p. 6).
Livestock production in the US will also be impacted:
Changing climatic conditions affect animal agriculture in four primary ways: (1) feed-grain production, availability and price; (2) pastures and forage crop production and quality; (3) animal health, growth and reproduction; and (4) disease and pest distributions (p. 4).
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