Department of Agriculture
Global change research is fully integrated across the Department of Agriculture, involving multiple mission areas and including 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 ranging from temperature and precipitation extremes to the changing infestation ranges and intensities of pests, invasive species, and diseases that result from shifting climatic conditions.
USDA assesses climate change effects on the natural and economic systems associated with productive lands. USDA 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 through the development of information products and decision-support tools.
USDA observes and monitors natural resource conditions on-the-ground. USDA assessments of natural resource conditions include the Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) Network, the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) network, the Experimental Forests and Ranges, the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN), the National Resources Inventory (NRI), and the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program, which are utilized by multiple scientific and programmatic efforts across the Department and the U.S. Government to improve land management efforts.
USDA’s ten Regional Climate Hubs deliver timely and authoritative tools and information to natural resource management professionals, ensuring that the latest science is available to support decision-making. To that end, USDA engages in many communication, outreach, education, and extension efforts across multiple forums to ensure that decision-makers, natural resource managers, and stakeholders have access to the most up-to-date scientific information for management decisions. The Hubs are an example of close interagency collaboration on climate change at the regional level, delivering tools, strategies, management, and technical solutions to farmers, ranchers, forestland owners, and resource managers to inform better decision-making in a changing climate.