The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in the United States

Introduction

Climate change is the the most pressing issue on human life. Ranging from deforestation and the extinction of wildlife, the increasing temperature of the earth poses a wide range of difficulties. For my research paper, I will be scrutinizing the relationship between climate change and agriculture in the United States. The U.S. economy is heavily dependent on crops such as tobacco, corn, and cotton. With more than $330 billion coming from agriculture, the food industry heavily supports job availability and economic development. As greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, the reliable food supply of the U.S is jeopardized. It is imperative to study such risks in order to react effectively and efficiently. The question I will be answering is: How will climate change affect the agriculture and economy of the United States?

Outline

Paragraph 1: Current Agriculture in the U.S and its Importance in the Economy

In the opening paragraph, I will touch on the current influence of agriculture on the U.S. economy. Corn, cattle meat, and cow’s milk are the three largest food products that are grown in the US. In 1870, 50% of the US population were employed by the agricultural system. In 2008, only around 2% of all American are involved with agriculture. As technology increases, the food system in America is increasingly becoming robotic. Assembly lines and robots are packing the food we eat. As a result, the impacts of climate change could have devastation effects on the food industry in the United States.

Paragraph 3: Climate Change’s Affect on Life

Climate Change encompasses a wide range of potential issues, ranging from global warming to the problems associated with CO2 emissions. U.S. agriculture and wildlife are very sensitive to changes in temperature and climate. Climate changes increases the chance of severe weather, precipitation rates, and wildlife migrations. Wildfires, insect infestations, and droughts are all possible outcomes of a world left unchecked with climate change.

Paragraph 4: Impact on Crops

In this paragraph, I will talk about the importance of crops in the United States. Historically, crops have benefited the economy in many different ways. Corn and tobacco were crucial for the survival of the colonies in the 18th Century. 25% of all grains in the global economy comes from American farms. A change in temperature, weather, CO2 emission, and extreme weather could prove problematic for the global food supply. The Environmental Protection Agency offers data regarding potential impacts on crops.

Paragraph 5: Impact on Livestock

The average American consumes 193 pounds of meat in one year; moreover, the meat industry brings in more than $100 billion per year. Climate change increases the number of parasites and diseases seen in farms per year. Further, summers are getting hotter every year. Heat waves are a serious concern for American farmers.

Paragraph 6: Impact on Fisheries

After crops and livestock, fisheries are the third most important source of income and food in the United States. Water pollution and over fishing are 2 current problems for fishers, and as climate change increases with CO2 emissions, these problems will only get worse. It is imperative to not only implement laws and regulations to prohibit overfishing, but to research potential solutions and cures to increasing water levels.

Paragraph 7: Solutions/Conclusion

In the final paragraph, I will offer my own solution to climate change’s effect on U.S. agriculture.

Sources

“Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food Supply.” EPA. October 06, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-agriculture-and-food-supply_.html.

“Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.” NASA. Accessed October 16, 2018. https://climate.nasa.gov/.

Rosenzweig C. (2011) Climate Change and Agriculture. In: Meyers R. (eds) Extreme Environmental Events. Springer, New York, NY