By Fredrica Syren:
The White House has promised to take executive actions to fight climate change. One example is the announced formation of a “climate hubs.” This initiative aims to help farmers and rural communities adapt to fires, droughts, floods, invasive pests and other effects of climate change, according to scientists.
According to the initiative, which environmentalists praised, the global hubs will act as information centers. The data from them can help farmers and ranchers find ways to prepare for potential threats to their crops and livestock due to severe weather caused by global warming. One example, higher nighttime temperatures can affect plant development at a critical stage of the growth cycle. Another is that the lack of snow in the West can affect the availability of water for irrigation during the growing season. Armed with information provided from the hubs, for example, wheat farmers could then select more resilient seeds that are more likely to survive predicted conditions.
They will also coordinate resources through federal and state governments, universities and non-governmental agencies. The hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, New Hampshire; Raleigh, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; El Reno, Oklahoma; Corvallis, Oregon; and Las Cruces, New Mexico. There also will be sub hubs in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Davis, California; and Houghton, Michigan.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the effects of climate change are huge and expensive. For instance, droughts from 2011-2013 alone have cost the U.S. $50 billion. Global warming has led to a longer crop-growing season in the Midwest, and to a fire season that is 60 days longer than it was three decades ago.