Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) global change research program aims to empower land managers, policy makers, and Federal agencies with science-based knowledge to manage the risks, challenges, and opportunities posed by climate change; reduce GHG emissions; and enhance carbon sequestration.
Meeting USDA's goals for expanded economic opportunity, helping rural America thrive, promoting the sustainability of agricultural production, enhancing food security, and conserving natural resources requires understanding the influences of climate change and the options for managing them. 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)
- Economic Research Service (ERS)
This work is important to ensuring sustained food security for the Nation and the world; maintaining and enhancing forest and natural resource health; and identifying risks to agricultural production from temperature and precipitation changes, pests, invasive species, and disease.
Specifically, USDA conducts assessments and projections of climate change impacts on agricultural and natural systems, and develops GHG inventories. 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 Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) network, the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN), the National Resources Inventory (NRI), and the Forest Inventory and Assessment (FIA). In addition, USDA has initiated seven Regional Climate Hubs to help agricultural producers adapt to climate change and variability. Finally, USDA engages in communication, outreach, and education through multiple forums, including its vast network of agricultural extension services.