Agricultural Production

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The proposed Finding erroneously suggests that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts an increase in both crop and forest production in the U.S. (e.g., pg. 28 lines 21 and 34 of the Proposed Finding, pg 80 line 26, page 87 line 9). The IPCC findings refer to North America, not the U.S.

The Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 (SAP 4.3) “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States” (U.S. Climate Change Science Program/Backlund et al. 2008), which includes more recent and more geographically-specific publications, tempered IPCC’s findings substantially, citing water limitations, northward progression of production zones, diminished grain set period, pest infestations, nutrient limitations, air pollution, and wildfire, among other dampening factors to production in agriculture and forestry in the

U.S. Significant increases in production may be possible within North America as a whole, but are unlikely within the U.S. itself.

The Findings document should be corrected to reflect that IPCC is referring to North America rather than the U.S. More importantly, the Findings document should be revised to accurately reflect the discussion in the Technical Support Document (TSD).

In addition, the placement of the IPCC prediction near the beginning of each section in the absence of any summarization gives the impression that large production increases are conclusive. This overrides the very salient and far more equivocal discussion which follows, leaving readers with the mistaken impression that climate change is a boon to U.S. agriculture and forestry. A summary statement which more accurately reflects the content of the technical discussions should be composed to lead each section.

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