Southwest Regional Climate Hub and California Subsidiary Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

Emile Elias, Caiti Steele, Kris Havstad, Kerri Steenwerth, Helena Deswood, Amber Kerr, Albert Rango, Mark Schwartz, Peter Stine, Rachel Steele
Posted on: 11/02/2018 - Updated on: 1/17/2023

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This report describes the potential vulnerability of specialty crops, field crops, forests, and animal agriculture to climate-driven environmental changes.

Here, vulnerability is defined as a function of exposure to climate change effects, sensitivity to these effects, and adaptive capacity. The exposure of specific sectors of the agricultural and forestry industries varies across the region because the Southwest is climatically and topographically diverse. There is also variability in the sensitivity of different systems to the effects of climate change. Most significantly, there is potential within agricultural and forestry systems to adjust to climate-related effects either through inherent resilience or through conservative management practices.

The purpose of this analysis is to describe regional vulnerabilities to climate change and adaptive actions that can be employed to maintain productivity of working lands in the coming decades.


Elias, E., Steele, C., Havstad, K., Steenwerth, K., Chambers, J., Deswood, H., Kerr, A., Rango, A., Schwartz, M., Stine, P., Steele, R. (2015). Southwest Regional Climate Hub and California Subsidiary Hub assessment of climate change vulnerability and adaptation and mitigation strategies. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture. 76 p.

Affiliated Organizations

California Subsidiary Hub

Affiliated Organizations

USDA's Climate Hubs are a unique collaboration across the department's agencies. They are led and hosted by the Agricultural Research Service and Forest Service located at ten regional locations, with contributions from many agencies including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Risk Management Agency. The Climate Hubs link USDA research and program agencies in their regional delivery of timely and authoritative tools and information to agricultural producers and professionals.