Agriculture

farmers produce much of the human food supply; raw inputs such as cotton, leather, and wool for textiles; and an array of fibers, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals that serve myriad manufacturing processes. Agriculture is a complex system of human activity that is intertwined in the economic, environmental, and social processes on the Earth.

The importance of agriculture to human well-being explains why influential national and international government and nonprofit agencies have focused so much attention on the impact of climate change on agriculture. There is a clear recognition on the part of agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the World Bank clearly recognize that climate change could have profound effects on the future. Global climate change may have some positive impacts on agriculture. On the other hand, there may be deeply negative impacts if climate change triggers droughts or other catastrophic events that hurt the global food supply. Resource scarcity could, in turn, cause famines and geopolitical conflicts with grave humanitarian consequences.

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