The world is full of controversial topics. In fact, sometimes the only thing people can agree on is that they disagree. Climate change falls solidly into this category. While the realities and effects are heavily debated, those who agree say it leads to a number of effects on the agriculture industry. Be prepared for a few common questions you may encounter about climate change and how it impacts agriculture.
Q: Are climate change and global warming the same thing?
A: Most people don’t realize there is a big difference between these two buzz phrases. Global warming is the current and predicted increase in the Earth’s air temperature, which is thought to be caused by greenhouse gases. Climate change describes the shift in long-term weather patterns, such as precipitation.
Climate change is the more appropriate term for describing climate trends.
Q: Is climate change normal?
A: Yes and no. Climate change is shaped by humans and by nature. People impact the climate through the use of fossil fuels and by converting ecosystems for human use. Occurrences such as continental drift and changes in the Earth’s position relative to the sun are natural factors that impact climate change.
Q: How does climate change impact agriculture?
A: Droughts and floods have changed in frequency and severity, which can pose challenges for farmers and ranchers. It may become more difficult to grow crops, raise livestock, and catch fish in the same places by using the same methods that have been relied upon in the past.