Category Archives: Climate Change Resources

Top Articles from 2022 Show the Breadth and Diversity of Topics in

By Sonia A. Hall, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University, and AgClimate Lead Editor

Word cloud from 2022 article titles, with 2022 Top Reads! overlaid2022 has come to a close, and 2023 seems to have revved up and is roaring along. We are still early enough in the year, though, to look back on 2022 and reflect on what you, our readers, found worthy of your time and attention. Here are the three most read 2022 articles, and three still-popular articles from earlier years. It is worth taking a look. I was struck by the breadth of topics and production systems these articles discuss, which is reflective of the variety in the Pacific Northwest that we explicitly try to cover in All these articles also have something in common: they discuss science-based resources that can help agricultural and natural resource professionals understand the implications of a changing climate, and explore options to be better prepared for the future. That is what is about. Enjoy these top reads in 2022! Continue reading

New Digital Tools for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

By David I. Gustafson, Adjunct Research Faculty at Washington State University

This article is part of a series, Climate Friendly Fruit & Veggies, highlighting work from the Fruit & Vegetable Supply Chains: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Opportunities (F&V CAMO) project, a collaborative research study co-led by investigators at the University of Florida and the Agriculture & Food Systems Institute. Other collaborators include researchers at the University of Arkansas, University of Illinois, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services, and Washington State University. This project seeks to identify and test climate adaptation and mitigation strategies in fruit and vegetable supply chains.

Tools have always played an essential role in agriculture, but they have evolved dramatically over the years. I recently visited the Lyles Station Museum in southwestern Indiana where I saw a fascinating variety of antique and prehistoric farming and processing tools (Figure 1). But farming in the future will require focusing on adaptation and mitigation opportunities in the face of the imperatives imposed by climate change. So today’s growers need new tools, such as the ones our research team is now developing, to help us prepare for the future by supporting long-term planning of fruit and vegetable (F&V) production systems.

Series of photos showing tools in a museum

Figure 1. Examples of antique farm-related tools and machines on display at southwestern Indiana’s Lyles Station Museum: a) a loom; b) multiple farming tools (being explained by museum curator, Stan Madison); c) an antique combine; d) a spinning wheel; e) multiple Native American artifacts; f) a hand-cranked food processing press. Photos: Dave Gustafson.

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing NCA5 Public Engagement Workshops

By Holly Prendeville, USDA Northwest Climate Hub

The National Climate Assessment is a major U.S. government report on how climate change affects people and places in the United States. In January and February 2022, there are a number of public engagement sessions for each chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment. At these workshops, you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the climate change-related issues most important to that chapter (see chapters at this link). The U.S. Global Change Research Program and the chapter authors will be present to collect your thoughts related to the chapter and they will use this information to decide which topics to cover in the chapter of the 5th National Climate Assessment.

Consider attending one or more of these workshops and sharing this information with your colleagues, partners, and networks. The full list of workshops and registration links can be found on USGCRP’s website. Here are a few key events relevant to the Northwest Climate Hub region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington):

January 11 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Human Social Systems Register

January 11 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity Register

January 12 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Energy Supply, Delivery, and Demand Register

January 12 | 8:30 AM –1 PM AKST Alaska Register

January 18 | 10 AM–2 PM ET Sector Interactions, Multiple Stressors, and Complex Systems Register

January 18 | 11 AM–3 PM ET Land Cover and Land-Use Change Register

January 18 | 11 AM–3 PM ET Air Quality Register

January 18 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Register

January 25 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Oceans and Marine Resources Register

January 26 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Coastal Effects  Register

January 28 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Agriculture, Food Systems, & Rural Communities Register

January 31 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Economics Register

February 1 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Forests Register

February 1 | 9:30 AM–2 PM PT Northwest Register

February 1 | 2 PM –6 PM ET Transportation Register

February 7 | 11 AM–3:30 PM ET Adaptation and Resilience  Register

February 7 | 1 PM–5 PM ET Mitigation Register

February 9 | 10 AM–2 PM ET Climate Effects on U.S. International Interests Register

February 9 | 12 PM–4 PM ET Water  Register

February 11 | 11:30 AM–3 PM ET Human Health Register


Resources for Navigating the Confluence of Drought and Wildfire

By Luke Brockman, Oregon State University, Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, Fire Program


Open fields transition to forested hillsides, with two large smoke plumes and dense smoke across the landscape. A firefighting plane crosses in front of the smoke

Drought is an important contributing factor to the dry conditions necessary for wildfire to spread to the levels we see today. Photo: USDA Forest Service under CC BY 2.0

Climate change is driving record high temperatures across the world, and among the effects in the Pacific Northwest is the increased severity of drought, which contributes to conditions already setting the stage for intense wildfires. Projected agricultural impacts of drought include losses in wheat, barley, and Christmas tree production. Additionally, the drought extremity we are experiencing this year correlates with the severity of wildfires, since drought is an important contributing factor to the dry conditions necessary for wildfire to spread to the levels we see today. Consider that this year’s wildfire season has been 19 times worse in terms of acreage burned than last year’s—more than 1 million acres by mid-August and counting in just Oregon and Washington, compared to a mere 52,000 acres at the same time last year––and conditions are likely to worsen in the coming years.

Gathering science-based, real-time information about wildfires burning in your state is important, but can certainly be a challenge when distracting “Breaking News” headlines and a whole host of other less than informative publications shroud your search results. Read on for some examples of how two online resources, and the Inciweb site, can get you started with up-to-date information about drought, wildfire, and the effects that the changing climate is having on our neck of the woods. Continue reading

Check it out: Spanish Language Reports on Climate Impacts in Washington

By Karen Hills, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University

Two reports, places on a lawn background

Two reports on climate change impacts translated into Spanish, helping to spread this information to a portion of the population that may otherwise have limited access. Photo: Climate Impacts Group

The recent heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has many of us thinking about climate change and what life may look like as the region warms. The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington (UW) recently announced the release of two publications in Spanish, helping to spread this information to a portion of the population that may otherwise have less access to this information.

The reports,  Sin Tiempo Que Perder and Cambiando las Líneas de Nieve y las Líneas de Costa, were originally published in 2018 and 2020, and written for a general audience. Continue reading

The National Extension Climate Initiative: Expanding opportunities for learning and sharing best practices

By Paul Lachapelle, Professor Montana State University

Collage of three articles from news outlets - The New York Times, Scientific American, BBC News - on the megadrought paper

Headlines following publication of Williams et al.’s 2020 paper describing a ‘megadrought’ that might be worse than any in 1,200 years.

Increasingly, the impacts associated with our changing climate are taking a dramatic toll on our communities, not only across the Pacific Northwest, but also around the world. In the western United States, we have experienced dramatic examples of climate-related impacts. A ‘Megadrought’ is reported to be emerging in the region that might be worse than any in 1,200 years, with half of this historic drought blamed on man-made global warming (Williams et al. 2020). Meanwhile, the worst heat in 70 years threatens to take down California’s grid (Aleem, 2020). According to Eilperin (2020), a cluster of counties on Colorado’s Western Slope and in eastern Utah have warmed more than 2° Celsius, which is double the global average and impacting the potential to produce, use, and export water. Agricultural, energy, forest, and aquatic systems are in many cases being impacted and stressed to the near breaking point for parts of the year or longer.

Extension professionals are recognizing the critical importance of reaching citizens with current and accurate information about the impacts of climate change and methods of adaptation and mitigation. Continue reading