Climate "Hubs" Set Up by US Ag Dept to Mitigate Climate Change

 

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The Obama administration has announced the establishment of seven “climate hubs” in regional areas to help reduce carbon emissions and deal with climate change. The Department of Agriculture will oversee these hubs, located in key regions across the United States, including New Hampshire, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico.

These climate hubs will promote the development of next generation of climate solutions, enabling the country’s agricultural sector to build innovative tools and technologies they need in the wake of a changing climate. The hubs will perform critical tasks such as studying fires, invasive pests, flooding and droughts. They will use research to provide guidance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to cope with the climate change challenges.

According to the government’s research projections, the average temperatures in major growing regions across the United States may spike by as much as six degrees Fahrenheit over the next four decades. There is a critical need for farmers, ranchers and foresters to adapt to this rapidly changing environmental scenario. Each of the climate hubs will serve as its region’s center for climate change information and outreach.

Climate change is likely to put an increasing level of stress on crops and livestock. Unless the threat is mitigated and measures to adapt to the changes are put in place, it will cause challenges such as crops produced in one area may no longer able to be produced. The growing seasons in the Midwest, for instance, are already two weeks longer, the fire season two months longer, and forests are increasingly threatened by pest invasions, fire, storms and droughts. Over the last two years, droughts alone have cost an estimated $50 billion.

Each of the climate hubs will develop its own climate mitigation plan, based on USDA carbon emission estimates associated with agricultural practices. A "Carbon Management and Evaluation Tool" (COMET-FARM) will help producers compute how much emission reductions they can achieve through conserving actions and how their land management decisions can impact the environment.

Source: Sustainable Business; USA Today

Image Credit: Flickr via CubaGallery

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