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Updated 12 October, 2003

US National Assessment of
the Potential Consequences
of Climate Variability and Change
Sector: Agriculture


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The National Assessment Overview and Foundation Reports were produced  by the National Assessment Synthesis Team, an advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and were not subjected to OSTP's Information Quality Act Guidelines. The National Assessment was forwarded to the President and Congress in November 2000 for their consideration.

Combine harvesting wheatPublications by the National Assessment Synthesis Team

Links to Material from the Agriculture Assessment Group

Related Articles from the National Assessment's Newsletter, Acclimations.

Issues Covered

The agriculture sector was concerned primarily with issues associated with national and regional agricultural production and economic implications. It considered the financial vulnerability of farmers and farming regions, coping strategies which may be utilized to manage the impact of climate change, and possible impacts of climate change on environmental factors. Some of the potential factors that were examined included soil erosion, wildlife habitat, livestock waste, and agricultural chemicals. Finally, the assessment included the impact of the international agricultural market in the context of climate change.

Assessment Approach

Climate change scenarios combined with economic assumptions were used to assess potential implications of climate change on agriculture. Case studies, incorporated primarily from regional assessment material, were utilized to analyze information not addressed in models and to relate broad, sector-based effects to impacts at local levels. Stakeholders were involved throughout the assessment in the design, review of drafts, and development of case studies. Interaction with other sectors was pursued to examine the broader impact of agriculture in the context of climate change.


Jeff Graham, U.S. Department of Agriculture (through September 1999)
Jim Hrubovcak, U.S. Department of Agriculture (beginning October 1999)
John Reilly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Coordinating Federal Agency U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agency Representative

Margot Anderson, U.S. Department of Agriculture (through March 2000)
Jim Hrubovcak, U.S. Department of Agriculture (beginning March 2000)


  • National and regional agricultural production
  • Financial vulnerability of farmers and farming regions
  • Adaptation strategies
  • Interplay of the international agriculture market
  • Impacts of variability and extreme weather events on environmental factors
October 15, 1998
  • Work assignments complete
March 15, 1999
  • Mid-term appraisal of progress and focus
  • Evaluation of modeling simulations
May 15, 1999
  • Preliminary project reports due
  • Develop report writing team assignments
October 26-28, 1999
  • Agriculture Sector Assessment Team and Steering Committee Meeting
February 1, 2000
  • Agriculture Background Working Papers Posted on National Assessment Web Site
February 3, 2000
  • Agriculture Sector Technical Review Begins
Summer 2000
  • Published final Agriculture Sector Report completed

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