Connecting stakeholders and climate science: A summary of farmer, rancher, and forester climate data needs and climate change attitudes

TitleConnecting stakeholders and climate science: A summary of farmer, rancher, and forester climate data needs and climate change attitudes
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsRango A, Crimmins M, Elias E, Steele C, Weiss J
Conference NameAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Date Published12/2015
PublisherAGU
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA
ARIS Log Number324046
Abstract

The mission of the USDA Southwest Regional Climate Hub is to provide farmers, ranchers and forest land owners and managers with information and resources to cope with the impacts of climate change. As such, a clear understanding of landowner needs for weather and climate data and their attitudes about climate change is required. Here we present a summary of results from 17 peer-reviewed articles on studies pertaining to landowner needs and attitudes towards climate change adaptation and mitigation that span much of the continental U.S. and ideally represent a cross-section of different geographies. In general, approximately 75% of landowners and farm advisors believe climate change is occurring, but disagree on the human contribution. Studies found that most farmers were supportive of adaptation responses, but fewer endorsed farm-based greenhouse gas reduction mitigation strategies. Adaptation is often driven by local concerns and requires locally specific strategies. Perceiving weather variability increased belief in human-caused climate change. Presently farmers and ranchers rely on past experience and short-range forecasts (weeks to seasons) whereas some foresters are requesting long-term predictions on the order of years to decades. Foresters indicated that most of them (74%) are presently unable to find needed long-term information. We augment peer-reviewed literature with observations from landowner workshops conducted in Nevada and Arizona during 2014, the first year of Climate Hub operation. To better collect information about climate change needs and attitudes of farmers, ranchers and foresters across the globe, we created a Climate Change Attitudes collection in JournalMap (https://journalmap.org/usda-southwest-regional-climate-hub/climate-change-attitudes). Users anywhere can add articles to this collection, ultimately generating a comprehensive spatial resource in support of adaptation and mitigation efforts on working lands.