Saturday, May 31, 2008

The effects of climate change

The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) recently released "Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 (SAP 4.3): The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States."

U.S. Climate Change and Science Program
The report finds that climate change is affecting U.S. water resources, agriculture, land resources and biodiversity, and will continue to do so. A few specific findings include:
  • Grain and oilseed crops will mature more rapidly.
  • Increasing temperatures will increase the risk of crop failures, particularly if precipitation decreases or becomes more variable.
  • Higher temperatures will negatively affect livestock.
  • Warmer winters will reduce mortality, but this will be more than offset by greater mortality in hotter summers.
  • Hotter temperatures will also result in reduced productivity of livestock and dairy animals.
  • Weeds grow more rapidly under elevated atmospheric CO2.
  • Weeds migrate northward and are less sensitive to herbicide applications.
The CCSP integrates the federal research efforts of 13 agencies on climate and global change. The report is one of the most extensive examinations of climate impacts on U.S. ecosystems.

Source: ASI Weekly, May 30, 2008