Climate change not only affects agriculture, but agriculture, in turn, is a net contributor to greenhouse gas production. These gases consist primarily of carbon dioxide, but contain methane, nitrous oxides, and other complex carbon compounds. The potential impact of climate change on agriculture is large because production depends on almost entirely on weather, especially temperature and rainfall amounts and the stability of these factors. Because the production of these greenhouse gases is global in nature, control at the source is not always possible. Thus, we attempt to reduce the impact of global warming through strategies of adaptation and mitigation.
Such strategies involve breeding drought resistant and heat tolerant crops, sequestration of carbon in soil to remove it from the atmosphere, and reduction of the production of nitrous oxides and methane resulting from agricultural practices. There is also a social aspect to mitigation and adaptation in respect to how the general public is involved in these activities and how political and agricultural policies need to support one another. In this panel we will address these issues and discuss agricultural research carried on in the Chesapeake Bay region that contribute to solutions as the climate changes