2004-2008 NP 204 Global Change Action Plan
'Global Change' refers to large-scale change in the Earth's biological, geological, hydrological, and atmospheric systems, whether of natural or human origin. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) conducts a strategic National Program entitled 'Global Change' because agriculture is vulnerable to environmental change and because agriculture can, in turn, affect some of the factors contributing to these changes. We have long recognized that short-term environmental changes at regional scales, such as seasonal drought and late freezes, are primary causes of variation in crop yield and livestock productivity. We need to address the likelihood that agricultural and other terrestrial ecosystems also will be affected by long-term global-scale changes such as human impacts on the Earth's atmosphere and energy balance. At the same time, we must investigate the potential for agriculture to play a role in mitigating the factors affecting environmental change, for instance by sequestering carbon in soil.
To read or download this document, click here.