Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Climate Change Research Program empowers land managers, policy makers, and its agencies with science-based knowledge to manage the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance carbon sequestration. USDA’s Climate Change Research Program includes 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). In addition to these agencies, programmatic and operational support for adaptation preparedness and resilience, greenhouse gas mitigation, and outreach and education are contributed by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Rural Development (RD), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), and Departmental Management Offices (DM). USDA has established Regional Climate Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation. Together the many USDA research and programmatic entities help ensure sustained food security for the Nation and the World. They maintain and enhance the health of U.S. forests, rangelands and natural resources while identifying ways to manage the risks and vulnerabilities ranging from temperature and precipitation extremes to the changing biology of pests, invasive species, increased wildfire intensity and extent, and diseases.
USDA develops greenhouse gas inventories and conducts assessments and projections of climate-change impacts on the natural and economic systems associated with agricultural production and forest and forest products. USDA also develops cultivars, cropping systems, and management practices to improve drought tolerance and build resilience to climate variability. The USDA Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry framework spans a range of technologies and conservation practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage, and generate renewable energy. USDA both conducts research and promotes integration of USGCRP research findings into farm and natural resource management, and helps build resiliency to climate change by developing and deploying decision support through its Regional Climate Hubs network and delivers science-based region-specific information and technology. USDA maintains critical longterm data collection and observation networks, including the Long-Term Agro-ecosystem Research (LTAR) Network, the Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) network, the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN), the National Resources Inventory (NRI), and the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA). Finally, USDA engages in communication, outreach, and education through multiple forums, including its vast network of agricultural extension services, its field offices, and its Regional Climate Hubs.