July 9, 2014 | By

USDA to Release Report on Global Climate Change and Food Security in 2015

The US Department of Agriculture plans to release a report in 2015 on global climate change and food security, according to an announcement on the Federal Register

Temperature and precipitation patterns, as well as changes in weed, pest, and disease prevalence are already occurring under a changing climate. These effects are expected to result in transformations in ecosystem functioning and in the economic viability of agriculture in many regions of the world, as well as in the refrigeration requirements of food products, transportation patterns, and other effects. The US is currently a major food importer and exporter, and provides a safety net for many food insecure nations. Global changes both in climate and in food security are therefore likely to influence the US food system through altered production decisions, the goods available to consumers, and their prices. The Global Climate Change, Food Security, and the US Food System report will examine how a changing climate may affect global food security today, in 25 years, and in 100 years. The report, to be published by USDA as a technical input to the National Climate Assessment, will provide a review of current literature and will report on analyses that illuminate the interactions between climate and food security. Publication is anticipated in the Fall of 2015.

The USDA, through its Climate Change Program Office, has been actively taking steps and implementing programs to address the risks from climate change. The USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which they announced in June 2012, presented strategies and actions to address the effects of climate change on key mission areas including agricultural production, food security, rural development, and forestry and natural resources conservation. As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, in February 2014 the USDA established seven regional climate hubs, which deliver science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on a regional basis to support decision-making related to climate change. Two recent reports released by the USDA provide comprehensive syntheses of the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for US agriculture and forests.

In May, The Chicago Council released its report, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate, which found US government action can curb the risks climate change poses to global food security, and calls on the government to integrate climate change adaptation into its global food security strategy.


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet.