Understanding the Views and Actions of U.S. Farmers Towards Climate Change [4-page research and policy brief from the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture (CICCA) March 2016] - Many U.S. farmers have noticed changes in weather patterns and an increase in extreme weather, yet remain skeptical about climate change and the long-term risks it poses. Studies show the majority of farmers believe that climate change is happening, but fewer farmers believe that climate change is human-caused than those who believe that climate change is occurring. Farmers generally more widely accept adaptation than mitigation measures, and their likelihood of supporting mitigation practices seems to be related to factors such as belief in human causation of climate change, concern for negative impacts of climate change, and the presence of economic incentives.
Northeast Regional Project website for USDA-NIFA funded Animal Agriculture and Climate Change program. (Visit national website.) Goal of project, website, and online course is to help all those involved in animal agriculture prepare and respond to current weather trends and an ever changing climate. As farmers plan for the future they must evaluate opportunities and risks in every aspect of their business. Current animal genetics, feeding programs, markets, facilities, and nearly all other aspects of the farming system are based on historical weather conditions and typical weather variability. Current evidence indicates that weather patterns are changing and predictions that the future weather might bring even more variability. Understanding the evidence and probability of these changes is essential for planning long term farm investments.
Community Adaptation to Flooding in a Changing Climate: Municipal Officials’ Actions, Decision-Making, and Barriers
Community Adaptation to Flooding in a Changing Climate: Municipal Officials’ Actions, Decision-Making, and Barriers [2-page Community and Regional Development Institute (CARDI) Research and Policy Brief, December 2013] - Climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of flooding in New York State, with the number of annual 2-inch (or more) precipitation events predicted to increase by 50% in the next century. Local governments can play an important role in preparing their communities to reduce the negative impacts of floods. This brief examines the stages of the flood adaptation process, how communities are addressing changes in flood patterns, barriers to flood adaptation, and additional education and information needed by municipal officials.
Farm Energy, Carbon, and Greenhouse Gases [4-page factsheet] – Farmers today face rising energy costs and uncertainty about future energy policies that affect agriculture. Many farmers are responding by improving the energy efficiency of their operations and exploring alternatives to traditional fossil fuels such as wind, solar, and biofuel crops. Improving nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency is another important strategy. Fertilizer cost is important because it is tightly linked to energy prices, and excessive applications increase the release of nitrous oxide (N2O), a very potent greenhouse gas (GHG). More efficient fertilizer management is just one of many win-win strategies for farmers that make economic sense and also address concerns about GHG emissions and climate change. This factsheet details problems and offers solutions.
New York’s Changing Climate [4-page factsheet] – The Earth is warming and New York is too. Just as we are seeing unprecedented rates of change at the global level, we are also observing rapid change in New York, including rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, with effects on the natural world and human health. Intense rains and floods, summer droughts, and heat waves are more common than they were in our grandparents’ time. New York’s climate will continue to change over the next 10, 20, and 100 years. This factsheet details the expected effects on ecosystems, farming, human health, and infrastructure.
The Earth’s Changing Climate [2-page factsheet] – This factsheet quickly explains the basics of climate change in easily understood language. Have you noticed that trees are budding earlier in the spring, that summer heat waves are more common than they used to be, or that when it rains, it pours? What you are witnessing is part of a global change in the Earth’s climate. Scientists once thought climate change would take many generations to be felt, but instead we are already experiencing its dramatic effects. Historically, the Earth’s climate has fluctuated, but natural factors alone cannot explain today’s rapid pace of change. There is overwhelming evidence that an increase in gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is causing this transformation.
Farming Success in an Uncertain Climate [4-page factsheet] – The Earth’s climate is always in flux, but today’s pace of change is far beyond what previous generations of farmers have had to face. Climate change is already posing new challenges, such as increased risk of flooding, summer heat stress, and more intense pest and weed pressures. Some farmers are planning to minimize the risks and capitalize on opportunities. Making business decisions on future scenarios is always a hair-raising endeavor, even more so with the complication of trying to discern between normal weather variability and long-term climate shifts. Many of the commodities that currently dominate the New York agricultural sector, like dairy products, apples, cabbage, and potatoes, are not well suited for the warming trends predicted for this century. However, there will be profitable opportunities to experiment with new crops or new crop varieties as temperatures rise and the growing season lengthens.
Climate Change in the Garden [Cornell Garden-Based Learning curriculum] – An exciting model of youth community action in the garden. This site offers examples of how youth and their community members can get involved in monitoring, adapting, and mitigating climate change in the garden.