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Southern Plains Blog--Are you Ready to Adapt to the Extreme Weather that Climate Change is Exacerbating?

Thu, 08 Oct 2020 05:41:33 CDT

Southern Plains Blog--Are you Ready to Adapt to the Extreme Weather that Climate Change is Exacerbating? In the latest isssue of the Southern Plains Perspective Blog Post, Clay Pope writes about adapting your plan to climate Change. He writes:

The climate is changing whether we like it or not. All the telltale signs are there–rainfall patterns are changing; “flash droughts” are becoming more common; extended droughts are becoming longer and hotter; when the rain does come, it has a tendency to come in more violent “extreme” events; our temperatures are becoming more variable (up and down, hot and cold); milder winters and slight overall temperature increases are leading to additional pest and parasite pressure—and on and on and on.

The question is, what do you do about it? Even if we were able to wave a magic wand today and completely eliminate excess greenhouse gas emissions, we still have to realize that some of these extreme weather events are here to stay. To many “switches have been flipped” so to speak to put the genie back into the bottle. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t try and mitigate climate change—we should—that said, we are still going to have come up with a plan to deal with extreme weather events on our farming and ranching operations.

The good news is that help is available.

In an effort to help farmers and ranchers come up with a long-term climate change/extreme weather adaptation plan, the USDA Northeast regional Climate Hub, the USDA Climate Hub network, NRCS and others have put together a Climate Adaption Workbook designed to help producers consider potential impacts of the changing climate on their operation and develop adaptive management actions for addressing these challenges.

Designed with worksheets to guide producers through a five-step process to answer key questions for making climate-informed decisions and putting their adaptation plans into action, the workbook encourages producers to summarize their answers to each key question into a report for incorporating climate adaptation considerations into their farm’s overall long range and annual operating plans.

The workbook is extensive (it’s 72 pages in all) and can take several hours to go through, but it will lead you through a process that helps you develop a plan based on where you are with your operation now and how you can plan for future challenges that are coming your way due to climate change. It helps put a plan together with your long-term goals in mind and helps you develop a way to monitor what the effects of the plan are and how you can be better prepared to meet these goals.

If you would to check it out, you can find more information at https://www.climatehubs.usda.gov/hubs/northeast/tools/adaptation-workbook:



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