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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Department of Agriculture

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) climate and global change research program anticipates the challenges faced by agriculture, forests, and natural resources, while also supporting the commitment by the land sector to address those challenges. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Forest Service (FS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) work collaboratively to provide comprehensive understandings and solutions, alongside the Department’s network of Land Grant and Minority Serving Colleges and Universities, Cooperative Extension, an active extramural research enterprise, and the USDA Climate Hubs. In this way, USDA’s climate science program prioritizes partner and stakeholder engagement in the development of use-inspired research for immediate application. 

USDA’s research on greenhouse gas mitigation technologies informs implementation of the Department’s climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy. It also improves our ability to measure, monitor, and report on greenhouse gas sources and sinks in the agriculture, forestry, and natural resource sectors. USDA’s research enterprise provides viable solutions and the means for quantifying outcomes in mitigative management practices to ensure that investments in greenhouse gas mitigation are having their intended impacts.

USDA’s Climate Hubs connect land managers and decision-makers to the Department’s scientific resources. The Climate Hubs and their partners develop tools and resources to increase the resilience of working lands and communities to extreme weather events and changes in climate that support decision-making at a local level. The Climate Hubs convene groups of partners and stakeholders with activities such as the Caribbean Drought Learning Network, the Southwest Drought Learning Network, and regional drought engagements. Through these and other types of engagements, the Climate Hubs conduct assessments and demonstrations and develop tools to support science-based, climate-informed decisions and to improve adaptation, mitigation, and production outcomes. 

USDA’s Climate Change Program actively develops scientific understanding across the workforce so that employees, extension professionals, and stakeholders understand how climate and global change influence the Department’s mission and their day-to-day work. The program coordinates across agencies and mission areas to plan, execute, engage, and learn from applied research efforts and incorporate that information into programmatic activities.