the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
A government report says climate change
is already affecting American agriculture.
The new report is from the Climate Change Science
Program, which brings together the research efforts of thirteen federal
agencies. President George Bush launched the program six years ago.
are some of the findings by scientists:
The growing season has increased by ten
to fourteen days in northern parts of the United States over the last nineteen
of the East and South now get more rain than a century ago. But the report says
there is some evidence of increased drought conditions in the West and
Southwest. Western states have less snow and ice on the mountains and earlier
melting in the spring.
Grain and oilseed crops are likely to
develop faster with increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But higher
temperatures will increase the risk of crop failures.
Also, horticultural crops such as
tomatoes, onions and fruit are more easily affected by climate change than
grains and oilseed crops.
animals will die during warmer winters, but greater numbers will die during
hotter summers. And temperature extremes reduce animal production of meat or
in the West, the Southwest and Alaska already have increases in fires, insect
outbreaks and dead trees. But young forests on good soil will be more
productive because of increased carbon dioxide levels.
At the same time, invasive plants will
also grow faster and are likely to move northward. Recent research also
suggests that weeds might get harder to kill with glyphosate, the most widely
used plant killer in the United States.
The Department of Agriculture was the
lead agency for the new report. Thirty-eight scientists from universities,
national laboratories, nongovernmental organizations and federal service wrote
it. They considered more than one thousand scientific publications.
The report was the strongest statement
yet by the Bush administration that human activity is the main cause of climate
change in the last fifty years. Carbon dioxide from the burning of oil, natural
gas and coal is the main gas blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere.
The report says warming is very likely
to continue in the United States during the next twenty-five to fifty years.
And it says this is so even if future greenhouse-gas emissions are reduced.
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report,
written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Bob