Agriculture and Climate Change

crops in changing climate

Abstract: By the year 2100 there will likely be eleven billion people on Earth. One of the great challenges we will face is how to feed that many people, especially in the midst of a changing climate. Farmers and scientists are already working on how to grow crops that can weather the increased storms, floods, and droughts as well as the temperature changes that we can expect in the coming decades. Many are testing how to do this while also decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural production. The accelerating consequences of climate change mean that we are in a race to curb greenhouse gas emissions before our food supply and natural resources are critically compromised.

Teaching Suggestions:

There are many ways in which climate change is impacting agriculture here in California and around the world. In order to help students identify the various factors that impact productivity in the face of a changing climate, and to help them understand the opportunities ahead, using this chart may prove helpful as students read through the Current Context issue.

What changes are happening to agriculture as a result of a changing climate?

Soil

 

List below climate change's impact on soil:

Water

 

List below climate change's impact on water:

Pollinators

 

List below climate change's impact on pollinators:

 

What are the impacts of these changing conditions listed above on the following food sources?

Crops

 

List below how changing growing conditions impact crops:

Livestock

 

List below how changing growing conditions impact livestock:

Fisheries

 

List below how changing growing conditions impact fisheries:

What can we do to help address these challenges?

Farmer/Scientist actions

 

What can farmers and scientists do to address the agricultural challenges related to climate change?

Individual actions

 

What can we as individuals do to address the agricultural challenges related to climate change?

Government/community actions

 

What can city, state, and federal governments do to address the agricultural challenges related to climate change?