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Climate Change

NRCS and Climate Change











Climate Change Activities and Features

USDA Climate Hubs The mission of USDA’s regional Climate Hubs is to develop science-based, region-specific information and technologies to agricultural and natural resource managers that enable climate-smart decision-making and to provide assistance to enable farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them adapt to climate change and weather variability.
USDA Building Blocks Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry - USDA’s  framework for helping farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners respond to climate change. The effort relies on voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors.  The 2016 progress report on the USDA Building Blocks has recently been released.
Soil Health Soil Health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. A healthy soil performs several functions: regulating water, sustaining plant and animal life, filtering and buffering potential pollutants, cycling nutrients, and physical stability and support.
Rapid Carbon Assessment The Rapid Carbon Assessment (RaCA) is an extensive database on soil carbon. Three years ago, NRCS embarked on the largest concentrated soil sampling effort in the history of soil survey to build the most extensive database on soil organic and inorganic carbon in the US.
USDA Carbon Scapes CarbonScapes is a national look at carbon landscapes and a central location for USDA Carbon inventory, modeling and mapping of terrestrial biosphere carbon.
Comet Farm COMET-FARM™ is a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system. The tool guides you through describing your farm and ranch management practices including alternative future management scenarios. Once complete, a report is generated comparing the carbon changes and greenhouse gas emissions between your current management practices and future scenarios.
Comet Planner Comet Planner is intended to provide generalized estimates of the greenhouse gas impacts of conservation practices for initial planning purposes. Visit the Comet Planner website and read the COMET Planner report.
Conservation Innovation Grants Conservation Innovation Grants are offered annually by NRCS to stimulate development and encourage adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. These grants specifically addressed greenhouse gas mitigation and carbon sequestration opportunities in fiscal year 2011 and 2015, water quality credit trading in 2012, drought adaptation and irrigation management in 2013, and soil health and nutrient management in 2014. Awards will continue investing in areas of soil health, conservation planning, nutrient and energy management, and development of innovative conservation technology.


Climate Change Information Highlights

Climate Info highlights new

Frequently Asked Questions and Discussed Topics

  1. What is the difference between weather and climate?
  2. What is climate change?
  3. What is the difference between climate change and climate variability?
  4. The greenhouse effect and climate change
  5. NRCS Conservation Practices and Climate Change
  6. Climate change impacts on agricultural production