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Assessment of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies in the Southwest and California

Elias, Emile, Steele, Caiti, Havstad, Kris, Steenwerth, Kerri, Chambers, Jeanne, Deswood, Helena, Kerr, Amber, Rango, Albert, Schwartz, Mark, Stine, Peter, and Steele, Rachel
This report describes the potential vulnerability of specialty crops, field crops, forests, and animal agriculture to climate-driven environmental changes. Here, vulnerability is defined as a function of exposure to climate change effects, sensitivity to these effects, and adaptive capacity. The exposure of specific sectors of the agricultural and forestry industries varies across the region because the Southwest is climatically and topographically diverse. There is also variability in the sensitivity of different systems to the effects of climate change. Most significantly, there is potential within agricultural and forestry systems to adjust to climate-related effects either through inherent resilience or through conservative management practices. The purpose of this analysis is to describe regional vulnerabilities to climate change and adaptive actions that can be employed to maintain productivity of working lands in the coming decades.
USDA Southwest Climate Hub
USDA publications