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Climate Change: Adaptation, Mitigation and Resilience

Rapidly changing climate is one of the most pressing issues facing farmers, ranchers, landowners, households, and communities.

  • ​Temperatures and drought extremes are recorded nearly every year, which stress crop and livestock systems and make them more susceptible to devastating infestations of native and non-native insects and diseases.
  • Devastating wildfires are occurring more frequently and with greater intensity.
  • Communities are challenged to maintain adequate and safe food systems while climate change threatens existing supply chains.
  • Demands for bio-based and other renewable, non-fossil-based fuels are increasing; and
  • Agriculture and forestry systems are increasing looked to for solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

To address these climate change challenges, individuals, families and communities need the best available science to plan for and implement climate-smart and resilient practices. Two critically important approaches to managing for climate resilience are adaptation and mitigation. These strategies are inter-related and must be pursued simultaneously as both can potentially improve resilience to the changing climate.

NIFA-funded adaptation science aims to reduce the impact of climate variability and change on the stability and productivity of agriculture and forest ecosystems. Climate adaptation science provides producers and managers the best available science to support decision-making to maintain economic viability and sustainability.

NIFA-funded mitigation science is directed at reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forest production. Mitigation practices can include sequestering carbon as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By optimizing greenhouse gas mitigation on the nation’s working lands, producers may benefit from carbon and other ecosystem service markets.

Examples of NIFA Climate Change Programs include:

Capacity Grant Programs:  These programs provide funding to eligible land-grant and other institutions on a non-competitive basis to support research and extension programs in the agricultural, food, and natural resource sciences as identified by state and local stakeholders.

Competitive Grant Programs

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