Adaptation

Production practices undoubtedly will evolve in response to climate change. However, they will also evolve with technological developments, environmental regulation, market conditions and other factors. Thus, while there is value in considering how possible adaptations in crop management might affect the impact of climate change, one must keep in mind that climate change is only one process among many that will affect future agricultural systems.

Simulating the simplest adaptations mainly involves changing planting dates, fertilizer applications, cultivars, and where applicable, irrigation practices. Effects of tillage and residue management are seldom considered, presumably because few models simulate tillage effects or their expected effects would not vary with climate change. Zhang (2005) used the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model to compare no-till, conservation tillage and conventional tillage systems for wheat at a single site in Oklahoma and found that all three treatments increased yields about 14% under climate change. Different crop rotations or alternate crops also are seldom compared. Ideally, the options considered should be within the range that producers likely would consider adopting.

An especially difficult question is how best to assess the potential for adaptation of cultivars. Simple approaches test a limited set of existing cultivars that differ in maturity. This allows testing for response to growing season but ignores potential for changing partitioning or other growth characteristics. Gene-based approaches offer the option of examining all possible genetic combinations affecting cultivar performance (e.g., White and Hoogenboom 2005).

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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