Farmer Adaptations and Their Potential Gains

Supposing for now that a climate signal is detected, and that the need for a change in management is perceived, farmers must then decide how to respond. This response will depend on the choices they see themselves having and the perceived costs and benefits associated with each choice. Various potential adaptations are listed in Table 8.1, each of which we now explore in turn.

Table 8.1 Potential farmer adaptations to climate, and some reasons why they might or might not help


Why it might help

Why it might not help

Shift planting date

Take advantage of

Less useful where current

lengthened growing

growing season length is not


limited by cold temperatures

Switch varieties

Other existing varieties better

More suitable varieties not always

suited to new climates


Switch crops

Other crops more suitable to

Hot countries have nothing to

new climates

switch to

Expand area

Climate change could expand

Less true in the tropics; possible

suitable area

soil constraints; expansion

may come with significant

environmental costs

Expand irrigation

Helps alleviate moisture

Can be expensive; often requires large


government investment; many

places have limited water resources

Diversify income

Non-farm income sources less

Rural non-farm economy linked to

climate sensitive

agricultural productivity


Some areas might be hurt less

Urban areas already strained

than others by climate


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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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