USDA Northwest Regional Climate Hub Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies
The USDA Regional Climate Hubs were established to maximise opportunities for sharing scientific findings about current and future risks from changing climate with people who manage working landscapes. There is an opportunity for Hubs and scientists to work with extension agents and others to develop effective and affordable ways of adapting to climate changes and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and to develop accessible formats for disseminating these materials. The Hubs can help develop and share tools and information that support these efforts. We think this effort will help farmers, ranchers, and private forest owners anticipate future conditions, rather than simply react to changes, as well as help them make more effective decisions about how to invest their time and resources.
Success in achieving this vision for the Hubs requires that we build much stronger bridges of communication between scientists, extension agents, and stakeholders. This assessment is intended to provide a foundation for these communication goals by describing what we currently know and what we understand are priority needs. We hope this will stimulate reaction and discussion among the people working to improve and protect the resources and assets of the great Northwest landscapes in the face of environmental changes that have already begun. We owe this much and more to future generations.
This assessment draws from a large bank of information developed by scientists and extension specialists in the Northwest to describe where we need to focus when dealing with climate risks to working landscapes. The changing climate has many secondary effects, such as irrigation water loss, increases in wildfire frequency, and increases in diseases and insect pest populations. Melting Arctic ice could lead to the increased prevalence of invasive species as well as more regional trade and shipping. This assessment sorts through these effects to highlight what we value, explore how those assets are at risk, and identify viable options for minimizing negative effects. It also seeks to identify where additional research or tools and outreach development is needed.