Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) global change research program empowers land managers, policy makers, and Federal agencies with science-based knowledge to manage the risks and opportunities posed by climate change; reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and enhance carbon sequestration. USDA’s global change research program includes contributions from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Forest Service (USDA-FS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and Economic Research Service (ERS). These USDA entities ensure sustained food security for the Nation and the world. They maintain and enhance the health of U.S. forests and natural resources while identifying risks to agricultural production ranging from temperature and precipitation changes to the changing biology of pests, invasive species, and diseases.
Specifically, USDA develops GHG inventories and conducts assessments and projections of climate-change impacts on the natural and economic systems associated with agricultural production. USDA also develops cultivars, cropping systems, and management practices to improve drought tolerance and build resilience to climate variability. USDA promotes integration of USGCRP research findings into farm and natural resource management, and helps build resiliency to climate change by developing and deploying decision support. USDA maintains critical long-term data collection and observation networks, including the Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) Network, the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) network, the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN), the National Resources Inventory (NRI), and the Forest Inventory and Assessment (FIA). USDA has instituted 7 Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change to develop and deliver science-based region-specific information and technology. Finally, USDA engages in communication, outreach, and education through multiple forums, including its vast network of agricultural extension services.