There is sufficient scientific evidence to support the fact that climate change and its associated extreme events are happening now. With the recent historic drought conditions in California and little explanation as to why it is happening, climate change has been suggested as a potential cause. To address climate change impacts and help prepare the state will require concerted efforts to identify risks and adaptation measures including the use of new technologies. This is why the announcement by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack earlier this month of “climate hubs” throughout the country, including a “sub-hub” in Davis, California, is so timely.
These hubs, the first of their kind in the country, will address increasing risks such as fire, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts, aiming to translate science and research into information for farmers, ranchers, and owners of forest land. The New Mexico hub, with its sub-hub in Davis, will contribute directly to assisting farmers and ranchers in California prepare for climate change. With the array of climate change research and agronomic expertise already underway at UC Davis, the location of the sub-hub will be a tremendous asset as this state’s unique agricultural sector prepares for climate change impacts.
CDFA realizes the importance of providing growers with user-friendly tools, technologies and resources to help them make agronomic decisions that provide food security for this state, the nation and world. A recent CDFA Climate Change Consortium report highlights the measures necessary to ensure agricultural sustainability in California in light of climate change.
When we think of the impacts from climate change, we have to think about our children, the future generation, and how we can use our current resources and scientific knowledge collectively so they have less challenges to deal with in the next 100 years and beyond. The new climate hubs, along with the state’s technical and financial resources, will help pave the way for long-term food security and economic viability for agriculture in California.