Category Archives: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Spring is Coming! Reflections on Growing the AgClimate Network

By: Brooke Saari

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow” ~ Proverb from Guinea

Spring in the Pacific Northwest. Top Left: Skagit Valley Tulips, courtesy of Brooke Saari; Top Right: Apple Tree in bloom, courtesy Washington State University; Bottom Left: Cherry Orchard in The Dalles, courtesy of Oregon State University and Jan Sonnenmair Photography, Flickr CC 2.0; Bottom Right: Spring Daffodils, courtesy Brent M., Flickr CC 2.0.

Winter is in its final stages and spring is knocking on our door. As a Florida native living in Washington, I for one am ready for some sunshine, flowers and warmth! While I dream of that glorious spring, I’d like to reflect on what an impressive year of growth the Agriculture Climate Network experienced in 2016, and what we are shooting for over the next year. Continue reading

Summarizing Scientific Knowledge about Agriculture and Climate Change in the Northwest U.S. and Plotting a Roadmap for the Future

By Liz Allen

This white paper integrates stakeholders¹ recommendations with a review of current scientific information about climate change and agriculture in the Northwest U.S.
Image credits, clockwise from top left: Lower Lake Ranch Road Sunset, by Michael McCullough; Marysville Wind Turbines, by Amit Patel; Columbia Gorge Apple Orchard, by Oregon Department of Agriculture; Palouse Wheat Field, by Matt Olson. All Creative Commons by NC 2.0.

Back in March of 2016, a group of agriculture sector stakeholders– including researchers, policy makers and producers– met in Tri-Cities, Washington, for the Agriculture in a Changing Climate Workshop. The three-day workshop was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northwest Climate Hub and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Facilitators from the William D. Ruckelshaus Center were instrumental in supporting generative dialogue. Workshop participants worked together to define priorities for the future research and extension efforts focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation in the Northwest.

A newly released white paper synthesizes high-priority recommendations that were articulated by participants at the workshop. Continue reading

Request for Proposals from the USDA Northwest Climate Hub

Photo by Aaron Roth, NRCS. CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo by Aaron Roth, NRCS. CC BY-ND 2.0

The USDA Northwest Climate Hub is putting out a request for proposals (usda-northwest-climate-hub-rfp-fy17).

Contingent upon available funds the Northwest Climate Hub requests proposals to support our mission to serve farms, forests and rangelands in a changing climate. An estimated amount of $350,000 is available for approximately 5-10 projects. There are additional funds available (at least $50,000) to fund one proposal that is designed to assist the NW Climate Hub in serving Alaska, such as efforts focused on Alaska meeting its food security needs under climate change. The Northwest Climate Hub encourages applicants to seek matching funds from other sources that augment and leverage funds made available to support proposals through this Request For Proposals.

We look forward to your letter(s) of intent due 5 December 2016.

If you are interested in email updates on RFP news and other Hub news please sign up here on Google.

Holly R. Prendeville, PhD
USDA Northwest Climate Hub Coordinator
USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Plants Respire Less than Previously Thought?

By: John Stevenson

Reprinted From: The Climate CIRCulator

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Forestry, Some Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Forestry, Some Rights Reserved.

YOU’VE PROBABLY SEEN the charts from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. For the past seventy years, the observatory has been monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (CO2). Along with revealing how this important greenhouse gas has grown steadily year after year, the observatory’s month-by-month data has also tracked an interesting season-to-season variation: CO2 goes up in the fall and winter and down in the spring and summer. The reason is plants. Continue reading

WSU Anaerobic Digestion Systems Field Day – June 9th, 2016

By: Brooke Saari

AD Field Day Flyer High ResResearchers at Washington State University, working with commercial partners, are hosting an upcoming field day to showcase anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery technologies and the lessons learned over the past three years.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological process that breaks down materials in the absence of oxygen, resulting in solid and liquid products, and biogas. Together with nutrient recovery and other complementary technologies, this process can provide environmental, economic and social benefits while managing organic waste. Continue reading

Harvesting a Wealth of Knowledge about Agriculture in a Changing Climate in the Northwest

By Liz Allen

Panel discussion during the Agriculture in a Changing Climate workshop. Photo by Brooke Saari

Panel discussion during the Agriculture in a Changing Climate workshop. Photo by Brooke Saari

These days I call the Northeast home, but my research is planted solidly in the Pacific Northwest. Trips west always involve a flurry of meetings with colleagues in Washington and Idaho and visits to my family in Oregon. My most recent visit began with lambing season at my brother’s farm in the Willamette Valley and wrapped up with three thought-provoking days at the Agriculture in a Changing Climate Workshop. This Workshop was a first-of-its-kind conference hosted by Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR), the USDA Northwest Climate Hub, and the Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH) team. The central objectives of the workshop were to analyze knowledge gaps and explore opportunities for improving decision support tools. Continue reading

Agriculture in a Changing Climate Workshop March 9-11

You’re invited to participate in this FREE workshop.  Your expertise is needed to identify and plan climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. Workshop will feature guest speakers, panel discussions, breakout groups, and a poster session. Workshop registration is open until February 28th, but hotel block will only be held through February 8thSpace is limited; Registration Required.

For registration, hotel reservation details and more please visit or contact Brooke Saari at / 509-663-8181 ext. 265.  Click here for an updated agenda.



Now for some “real” math: Free webinar series on anaerobic digestion and emerging technologies

By: Sonia A. Hall

If my latest post on anaerobic digestion (AD) and its potential as a win-win solution that can address multiple challenges of manure management while reducing greenhouse gas emissions caught your eye, here’s a great opportunity to learn more about where AD research is at.

Join us for a series of five FREE webinars where Washington State University researchers and their collaborators share their findings as they strive to quantify the climate, air, water, nutrient and economic impacts of integrating emerging, next-generation technologies within anaerobic digestion systems on U.S. dairies. Continue reading

Win-win math – Can anaerobic digestion make 2 + 2 = 10?

By: Sonia A. Hall

Dairy nutrient management, Tillamook, Oregon. Credit: NRCS Oregon under Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 2.0

Dairy nutrient management, Tillamook, Oregon. Credit: NRCS Oregon under Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 2.0

I’m not very good at telling people what they should do (my sons excepted, as I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell you). However, I am by nature a problem-solver, so I can’t help but get excited about things—ideas, tools, practices, approaches—that have the potential to solve multiple problems at the same time. You know, the so-called win-win solutions, that in my mind can make 2 + 2 = 10. That is why I’ve enjoyed working on reports (to come out soon) and a webinar series (also on its way) on anaerobic digestion technologies.

Let’s start with a definition, for those of you who may not be familiar with AD. Anaerobic digestion is the microbial metabolic process that degrades organic matter in environments void of oxygen (see this fact sheet for details). Okay… so what does that do? Continue reading

The “But what about…?” Challenge – What we should be talking about, but aren’t (yet)

By: Sonia A. Hall

New Year's: Fireworks explode over Seattle Center in Seattle, WA from the iconic Space Needle. (Photo by David Conger / David Conger under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

New Year’s: Fireworks explode over Seattle Center in Seattle, WA from the iconic Space Needle. (Photo by David Conger / David Conger under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

We have just wrapped up 2015, a year where we discussed agriculture’s contributions to a changing climate, and what the sector suggests for solving the problem. We’ve had lots of discussion about drought, dust bowls, water shortage, heat stress, changes in the growing season, and other signs of what’s to come. We’ve blogged about the resources that we need to conserve because they are key to adapting to a changing climate, like soils and water. And we had a suite of posts about tools—mainly modeling tools, since it’s hard to study the future any other way (at least for now). Think back to when you read all these blog posts. Did you ever have the urge to interrupt with “but what about…?” Well, here’s your chance. We at are asking you to send us those burning “But what about…” questions. Here’s why. Continue reading