Agriculture to Suffer Little from Global Warming

by William Yeatman on February 17, 1999

in Blog

Much has been written about the potential effects of global warming on agriculture. Global warming skeptics have generally argued that the net effects will be positive, while believers have claimed that the effects could be disastrous. A new report from the Pew Center on Climate Change (believers) argues that the net effects of global warming on U.S. agriculture will probably be small even though there could be significant regional effects.

For example, agriculture in the northern United States and Canada could benefit from warmer temperatures, while agriculture in the southern United States could be harmed. The report also concedes that “currently available climate forecasts cannot resolve how extreme events and variability will change; however, both are potential risks to agriculture.” This seems to be the tack taken by the Pew Center on each of the aspects relating to agriculture and global warming it discusses. To wit, we dont know how global warming will effect agriculture but it could have both positive and negative consequences.

The report concludes that “climate change is not expected to threaten the ability of the United States to produce enough food to feed itself through the next century; however, regional patterns of production are likely to change.” It also concludes, “the form and pattern of change are uncertain because changes in regional climate cannot be predicted with a high degree of confidence.” The report also discusses that farmers will have several means to adapt to any potential change in regional conditions. The report can be found at

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