Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for U.S. Agricultural Businesses to Climate Change

By Raphael Nawrotzki and Stephen Akeyo.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Within living memory agriculture has been the fundamental human activity for food production to support the livelihood of everyone on earth. The human wellbeing depends strongly on the success of the agricultural sector whereas the agriculture’s success is linked to climate conditions that have started to change rapidly over the last decade due to global warming. Based on recent research studies and current literature this paper summarizes the impact of climate change on U.S. agricultural businesses. Research show that the majority of these impacts are negative such as increased flooding, rise in sea level, more frequent severe storms, droughts, heat-waves, and related effects on animal health, pests and plant diseases. Also, few positive effects are reported like increased plant growth rate because of warmer temperatures, longer growing seasons, carbon dioxide fertilization effect, and enhanced water availability.
However, the main purpose of this paper is to identify ways to respond to these issues of climate change. Thus, two ways are discussed: 1. Mitigation of climate change impacts by reducing carbon dioxide emission through the use of bio-fuels from agricultural products and refeeding of atmospheric carbon subsurface by carbon sequestration (biotic and abiotic). 2. Adaptation to occurring climate change in a proactive way through mechanisms such as knowledge and learning, improvement of risk and disaster management, infrastructure development, institutional design and reform, public policy, and technological innovation. Stopping climate change may be difficult or impossible. However, it is the objective of this paper to show that there are ways to adapt so that adverse impacts can be reduced or even reversed.

Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, Agriculture, Carbon Dioxide Effect on Weeds, Plant Diseases, Drought, Heat Waves, Hurricanes and Severe Storms, Floods, Sea Level Rise, Carbon Dioxide Fertilization, Mitigation, Bio-Fuel, Soil Carbon Sequestration, Proactive Adaptation, Infrastructure Development, Institutional Reform, Climate Policies, Technology Innovation

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.141-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.733MB).

Raphael Nawrotzki

Student, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA

In 2003 I enrolled at the University of Applied Science Darmstadt (Germany) to study in the School of Biotechnology with a concentration in Environmental-biotechnology. I gained knowledge of regenerative energies; i.e. biogas and also studied different kinds of wastewater treatments as well as drinking water purification by membrane systems. In conjunction with the regenerative energies, I took part in a project, whose purpose was to help people in China use their waste in a regenerative way by means of lactic acid fermentation. In 2007 I wrote my Diploma thesis about developing a method for solid state fermentation of Trichoderma harzianum (a biological pesticide that can be used as an environmentally safe Biocontrol agent in the agricultural sector to protect potato-plants against late blight) and improvement of suitable conidia formulations. In order to add a broader foundation to my specialized knowledge and to better serve in the development aid, I first studied in the master program “Sustainable Development” at University of Basel (Switzerland) and I am currently enrolled in the MSA: Community and International Development program at Andrews University (Michigan) with a focus on “Disaster Preparedness” and a personal specialization in climate change issues.

Stephen Akeyo

CEO, Touched Life Ministries, Inc, South Bend, Indiana, USA

Pr Stephen Akeyo, is a 2009 graduate student from Andrews University where he attained his Master of Science degree in Community and International Development, with emphasis on Disaster Preparedness. Prior to joining Andrews University, Pr. Akeyo attained his MA degree in Pastoral ministry from Trinity College in New burgh, Indiana. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Administration from Trinity college in New burgh, Indiana. In 2004 he founded Life touch Legacy, an orphanage Ministry for disadvantage children in Tanzania, Africa. He works as a community heath and safety trainer for American Red cross.

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