For more than a decade, USDA’s Climate Hubs has been at the forefront of supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. Last week, the department significantly boosted its efforts globally, by launching the International Climate Hub.
The new hub builds on the experience with 10 regional Climate Hubs throughout the United States and the Caribbean to compile, share and significantly expand knowledge, understanding, and implementation of climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices in the United States. By broadening international awareness and access to information and tools, USDA continues to position itself as a global leader in highlighting agriculture and forestry practices as solutions to address climate change.
“We have seen significant investment and interest from the global community in support of tools, resources, and expertise to help meet global adaptation and mitigation goals,” said Jeremy Adamson, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) senior policy advisor. “The International Climate Hub expands our cooperation and sharing, demonstrating approaches that are successful, and connecting users around the world with much-needed tools to help them address climate and sustainability goals.”
The regional Climate Hubs link USDA research and agencies in their delivery of tools and information to agricultural producers and professionals. The international portal, led by FAS, focuses on collaborations between USDA and its global partners to provide climate change policy and technical support.
The International Climate Hub also includes new tools, such as COMET-Planner Global, which gives users a chance to see how different agricultural production practices can estimate CO2 sequestration in any part of the world. Another powerful tool is the Global Agricultural and Disaster Assessment System, which helps rapidly assess the impact of natural disasters on agricultural production across the globe by providing highly detailed, real-time data to assess crop conditions. This includes daily precipitation data, vegetation index, crop masks, land cover data, irrigation and water data, elevation, and infrastructure data, and much more.
“We are making historic investments domestically and internationally to support global adoption of climate-smart agriculture and forestry,” added Adamson. “These investments bolster existing programs, while also uncovering new innovations to address current challenges. And, with the International Climate Hub we now have an opportunity to share current and future innovations with the global community.”
Through science-sharing, joint projects, and education efforts, FAS aims to expand global adaptation and application of climate-smart commodities production and practice.