Agriculture and Climate
Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among other effects, that occur over several decades or longer.
Global warming refers to the recent and ongoing rise in global average temperature near Earth's surface. It is caused mostly by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Global warming is causing climate patterns to change. However, global warming itself represents only one aspect of climate change.
Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for people's health and for the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases contribute to the greenhouse effect, an effect that occurs when greenhouse gases absorb energy and trap heat in the Earth's surface. Greenhouse gases are essential to keeping our planet warm but too many greenhouse gases concentrated in the atmosphere can increase global temperatures.
Changes in ozone, greenhouse gases and climate change affect agricultural producers greatly because agriculture and fisheries depend on specific climate conditions. Temperature changes can cause habitat ranges and crop planting dates to shift and droughts and floods due to climate change may hinder farming practices.
Climate Information from EPA:
- Climate Change Homepage
- Climate Change Research
- Smart Growth - Smart growth helps communities grow in ways that expand economic opportunity while protecting human health and the environment.
- Local Food, Local Places - Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems.
Climate Information from Other Sources
USDA - Climate Solutions - USDA is taking steps to create modern solutions to the challenge of climate change.
- USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) - Since 1988, the SARE grants and education program has advanced agricultural innovation that promotes profitability, stewardship of the land, air and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities.
- USGS - Climate and Land Use Change -The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.