U.S. Releases Climate Overview

U.S. Releases Climate Overview

Report shows climate change already impacting U.S. agriculture.

At the climate talks in Copenhagen Monday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released an updated version of a report titled: The Effects of Climate Chang on U.S. Ecosystems. The report, originally released in 2008, has been updated and provides an accessible summary of findings contained in a U.S. scientific assessment project. 


Based on a wealth of source and review literature, the report concludes that climate change is already affecting U.S. agriculture, land resources, water resources, and biodiversity, and will continue to do so. The report identifies the effects climate change is having and is expected to have on natural resources and ecosystems services in the United States over the next several decades.


Although the report does not reflect the economic consequences of these effects on production, economic implications are inescapable due to the dependence of productivity on climate, both directly through changes in temperature and precipitation, and indirectly through the effects of climate on pest outbreaks, weed distribution, water supplies, changes in the nutritional content of forage due to elevated CO2, and so on, that in turn influence production.

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