In a video produced by the USDA to promote their February report “Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation” Director of the Climate Change Program Office William Hohenstein discusses some benefits of climate change.
“Longer growing season. In some cases increases in precipitation and more moisture that’s available,” Hohenstein says, “ Then CO2 itself. Carbon dioxide turns out to have a fertilizing effect on plants, so it can increase plant growth. And so, at least over the next 20 to 30 years we expect to see a very mixed story on how climate change plays out on the landscape.”
A section of the USDA report titled ‘Capacity of the Agricultural System to Adapt to Changing Climate Conditions’ says, “For the short term, the dynamics of the agricultural system will likely enable it to respond to climate changes in ways that partially offset the negative direct and indirect effects of climate change, while taking advantage of new opportunities that may arise through changing climate.”
The report concludes with calls for improved understanding of climate change to improve planning for “effective adaptation”.