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Integrating Agriculture and Ecosystems to Find Suitable Adaptations to Climate Change

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Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University, Galveston, TX 77554, USA
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Center for Coffee Research and Education, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Seniority of authorship shared by first three authors.
Climate 2020, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8010010
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 6 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
Climate change is altering agricultural production and ecosystems around the world. Future projections indicate that additional change is expected in the coming decades, forcing individuals and communities to respond and adapt. Current research efforts typically examine climate change effects and possible adaptations but fail to integrate agriculture and ecosystems. This failure to jointly consider these systems and associated externalities may underestimate climate change impacts or cause adaptation implementation surprises, such as causing adaptation status of some groups or ecosystems to be worsened. This work describes and motivates reasons why ecosystems and agriculture adaptation require an integrated analytical approach. Synthesis of current literature and examples from Texas are used to explain concepts and current challenges. Texas is chosen because of its high agricultural output that is produced in close interrelationship with the surrounding semi-arid ecosystem. We conclude that future effect and adaptation analyses would be wise to jointly consider ecosystems and agriculture. Existing paradigms and useful methodology can be transplanted from the sustainable agriculture and ecosystem service literature to explore alternatives for climate adaptation and incentivization of private agriculturalists and consumers. Researchers are encouraged to adopt integrated modeling as a means to avoid implementation challenges and surprises when formulating and implementing adaptation. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; adaptation; agriculture; ecosystems; externalities climate change; adaptation; agriculture; ecosystems; externalities
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Thayer, A.W.; Vargas, A.; Castellanos, A.A.; Lafon, C.W.; McCarl, B.A.; Roelke, D.L.; Winemiller, K.O.; Lacher, T.E. Integrating Agriculture and Ecosystems to Find Suitable Adaptations to Climate Change. Climate 2020, 8, 10.

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