California Agriculture and Climate Change
We have coordinated interdisciplinary research among several UC Davis faculty members with input from farmers, and many people in local and state agencies and other organizations for several years with funding by the California Energy Commission PIER project. For a case study on planning agricultural responses to climate change in a representative agricultural county in California's Central Valley, a website for public audiences is at http://agadapt.ucdavis.edu/ and several papers are published or forthcoming (see below). The following abstract is from a statewide analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in 2012:
“To build public support for adapting to and mitigating climate change, it will be necessary to develop greater awareness of a broad set of biophysical and socioeconomic factors that influence agricultural vulnerability and resilience. First, the study developed a spatially explicit agricultural vulnerability index for California derived from 22 climate, crop, land use, and socioeconomic variables. Results of the agricultural vulnerability index suggest that the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Salinas Valley, the corridor between Merced and Fresno, and the Imperial Valley merit special consideration due to their high agricultural vulnerability. The underlying factors contributing to vulnerability and resilience differ among these regions, indicating that future studies and responses could benefit from adopting a contextualized “place based” approach. As an example of this approach, the research team summarized the findings from a recent study on climate change adaptation in Yolo County. The Yolo County study consists of: (1) an econometric analysis of crop acreages under future climate change projections; (2) a hydrologic model of the Cache Creek watershed that simulates the impact of future climate and crop acreage projections on local water supplies; (3) a countywide inventory of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and how it might be used to inform local Climate Action Plans; (4) a survey of farmers’ views on climate change, its impacts and what adaptation and mitigation strategies they might be inclined to adopt; and (5) an urban growth model that evaluates various future development scenarios and the impact on Yolo County farmland and GHG emissions. Since farmland throughout the state is vulnerable to urbanization, the study also used urban growth projections for 2050 to examine the possible impacts on statewide agricultural production, land use patterns, and soils. Lastly, the study examined two on-farm case studies (Fetzer/Bonterra Vineyards and Dixon Ridge Farms) that highlight the possible benefits of innovative agricultural practices (for example, vineyard carbon storage and renewable energy production from crop residues) that link adaptation and mitigation.” (Jackson et al. 2012 b)
Haden, V.R., M. Dempsey, S. Wheeler, W. Salas, and L.E. Jackson. 2012. Use of local greenhouse gas inventories to prioritize opportunities for climate action planning and voluntary mitigation by agricultural stakeholders in California. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 56:553-571. Haden et al. 2012
Haden, V.R. M.T. Niles, M. Lubell, J. Perlman, and L.E. Jackson. 2012. Global and local concerns: What attitudes and beliefs motivate farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change? Plos One 7:12: e52882. Haden et al. 2012
Jackson, L.E., S.M. Wheeler, A.D. Hollander, A.T. O’Geen, B.S. Orlove, J. Six, D.A. Sumner, F. Santos-Martin, J.B. Kramer, W.R. Horwath, R.E. Howitt, and T.P. Tomich. 2011. Case study on potential agricultural responses to climate change in a California landscape. Climatic Change 109 (Suppl 1):S407-S427. Jackson et al Climatic Change 2011
Jackson, L.E., V.R. Haden, A.D. Hollander, H. Lee, M. Lubell, V.K. Mehta, A.T. O’Geen, M. Niles, J. Perlman, D. Purkey, W. Salas, D. Sumner, M. Tomuta, M. Dempsey and S.M. Wheeler. 2012. Adaptation strategies for agricultural sustainability in Yolo County, California. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500-2012-032.
Jackson, L.E., V.R. Haden, S.M. Wheeler, A.D. Hollander, J. Perlman, A.T. O’Geen, V.K. Mehta, V. Clark, and J. Williams. 2012. Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in California agriculture. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500-2012-031.
Jackson, L.E., F. Santos-Martin, A.D. Hollander, W.R. Horwath, R.E. Howitt, J.B. Kramer, A.T. O’Geen, B.S. Orlove, J.W. Six, S.K. Sokolow, D.A. Sumner, T.P. Tomich, and S.M. Wheeler. 2009. Potential for adaptation to climate change in an agricultural landscape in the Central Valley of California. Report from the California Climate Change Center. CEC-500-2009-044-D. 170 pp.
Mehta, V.K., V.R. Haden, B.A. Joyce, D.R. Purkey, and L.E. Jackson. 2013. Irrigation demand and supply under historical and projected climate and land-use in Yolo County, California. Agricultural Water Management 117:70-82. Mehta et al. 2013
Wheeler, S.M., M. Tomuta, V.R. Haden, and L.E. Jackson. 2013. The impacts of alternative patterns of urbanization on greenhouse gas emissions in an agricultural county. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability 6:213-235. Wheeler, Tomuta, Haden, and Jackson 2013