Special Issue "Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017) | Viewed by 35259

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bruce A. McCarl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
Interests: policy analysis mainly in climate change; climate change mitigation; ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) analysis and Edwards Aquifer water as well as the proper application of quantitative methods to such analyses.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Jianhong E. Mu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA
Interests: application of quantitative methods to climate change impacts; adaptation; mitigation and vulnerability assessments in the field of land use; agricultural production and animal disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ongoing march forward of climate change and the strong ties of greenhouse gas emissions with income and development portend a need for decision making on adaptation and mitigation. Climate sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, will need to increasingly adapt to climate change and participate in its mitigation. This fact also means that understanding the potential for agricultural adaptation and mitigation, as well as how such mitigation and adaptation behavior will occur and can be incentivized, is important in the science, policy and stakeholder communities.

This Special Issue aims to both review and contribute to the state-of-art regarding agricultural adaptation and mitigation options and actions in both developing and developed countries.  It will provide background pieces on options, empirical investigation of potential agricultural adaptation and mitigation strategies, and discuss opportunities and challenges in facilitating agricultural climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • What things could be done in agricultural adaptation?
  • What things could be done in agricultural mitigation?
  • Who will adapt and where is policy needed to facilitate adaptation?
  • What are the approaches to increase agricultural participation in mitigation and what future actions may be needed?

Dr. Bruce A. McCarl
Dr. Jianhong E. Mu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Climate is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • adaptation
  • mitigation
  • climate change
  • challenges

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Assessing Coping Strategies in Response to Drought: A Micro Level Study in the North-West Region of Bangladesh
Climate 2018, 6(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020023 - 02 Apr 2018
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3047
Abstract
Drought is an extreme and frequent event in the north-west region of Bangladesh and it adversely affects the livelihood of the farming community. Identifying the coping strategies that farmers use in the face of drought is crucial in order to understand how farmers [...] Read more.
Drought is an extreme and frequent event in the north-west region of Bangladesh and it adversely affects the livelihood of the farming community. Identifying the coping strategies that farmers use in the face of drought is crucial in order to understand how farmers minimize the effects of drought on their production, especially in the face of climatic changes that may impact the occurrence of extreme weather events. The purpose of this study was to assess farmers’ coping strategies for droughts by identifying which strategies are used and the influencing factors. A mixed methods approach using qualitative and quantitative data was employed. Preliminary data were collected using structured interviews and focus group discussions in which the findings were triangulated in order to design a questionnaire. The study respondents were 100 farmers operating in north-west Bangladesh. The findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics, coefficient of correlation, multiple linear and step-wise regressions. The results reveal that the respondents have limited drought coping strategies, even though the region is prone to frequent droughts. Among the fourteen identified drought coping strategies, the use of deep tube wells for irrigation water was the most widely reported and the farmers perceived it as the most important coping strategy. Shallow tube wells closely followed as the second most commonly used coping strategy reported by the respondents. Among the identified coping strategies, the least practiced was the use of treadle pumps. The findings from the study showed that age, education, farm size, annual family income, extension media contact, and organization participation were significantly associated with the choice of coping strategy that the farmers employed. Additionally, farm size, age, and education were identified as influential factors that affected the farmers’ choice of which drought coping strategies to use. The study identified important issues for policy makers engaged with governmental programs that aim to enhance the farmers’ drought coping mechanisms. The methods employed and the results of this study could be usefully applied in other districts of Bangladesh, or other areas of the world suffering from the negative effects of drought on agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
Demonstrating the Effect of Forage Source on the Carbon Footprint of a Canadian Dairy Farm Using Whole-Systems Analysis and the Holos Model: Alfalfa Silage vs. Corn Silage
Climate 2017, 5(4), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040087 - 24 Nov 2017
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4159
Abstract
Before recommending a feeding strategy for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, it is important to conduct a holistic assessment of all related emissions, including from those arising from feed production, digestion of these feeds, managing the resulting manure, and other on-farm production processes and [...] Read more.
Before recommending a feeding strategy for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, it is important to conduct a holistic assessment of all related emissions, including from those arising from feed production, digestion of these feeds, managing the resulting manure, and other on-farm production processes and inputs. Using a whole-systems approach, the Holos model, and experimentally measured data, this study compares the effects of alfalfa silage- versus corn silage-based diets on GHG estimates in a simulated Canadian dairy production system. When all emissions and sources are accounted for, the differences between the two forage systems in terms of overall net GHG emissions were minimal. Utilizing the functional units of milk, meat, and total energy in food products generated by the system, the comparison demonstrates very little difference between the two silage production systems. However, the corn silage system generated 8% fewer emissions per kg of protein in food products as compared to the alfalfa silage system. Exploratory analysis of the impact of the two silage systems on soil carbon showed alfalfa silage has greater potential to store carbon in the soil. This study reinforces the need to utilize a whole-systems approach to investigate the interrelated effects of management choices. Reported GHG reduction factors cannot be simply combined additively because the interwoven effects of management choices cascade through the entire system, sometimes with counter-intuitive outcomes. It is necessary to apply this whole-systems approach before implementing changes in management intended to reduce GHG emissions and improve sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
The Role of Social Networks in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan
Climate 2017, 5(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040085 - 23 Nov 2017
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 5452
Abstract
Incorporating adaptation into subsistence farming systems is an important strategy to reduce damages related to climate change and to protect livelihoods in developing countries. Using a dataset of 450 farm households collected from three agro-ecological zones, this study examines rural networks, assesses farm-level [...] Read more.
Incorporating adaptation into subsistence farming systems is an important strategy to reduce damages related to climate change and to protect livelihoods in developing countries. Using a dataset of 450 farm households collected from three agro-ecological zones, this study examines rural networks, assesses farm-level institutional support and documents any existing structural gaps on climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector of Pakistan. For this purpose, a social network analysis method is used. The study findings reveal that farmers reported a decrease in crop production and increase in pests and diseases due to climate change. Further, changing crop varieties, sowing dates, input mixes and planting trees are the key measures adopted by farmers. Lack of information, finances and resources are the key adaptation constraints. The study findings show that only 28% and 13% of the respondents do not have access to financial services and climate adaptation knowledge, respectively. Support to farmers mainly consists of marketing information and farm equipment from community-based organizations, while private institutions offer weather forecasting services. Public institutions are poorly represented in the network analysis. We also found that extension services are key institutions in the climate adaptation network, while agricultural credits, post-harvest services and marketing of produce were dominant but weakly connected in the financial support network. We also found that with an increase in the provision of services at the farm level, farmers not only adapt more but also move from low-cost and short-term measures to advanced measures. This study proposes an integrated framework to improve the stakeholders’ networking through different kind of partnerships and better adaptation to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
Near-Term Pathways for Achieving Forest and Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in the U.S.
Climate 2017, 5(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030069 - 01 Sep 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2143
Abstract
U.S. forests and agriculture present unique opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. U.S. forests currently remove a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year and store it as a terrestrial carbon sink, a trend that is projected to continue, [...] Read more.
U.S. forests and agriculture present unique opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. U.S. forests currently remove a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year and store it as a terrestrial carbon sink, a trend that is projected to continue, although at a decreasing rate over time. Agriculture is and will continue to be a net source of GHGs. To encourage additional mitigation, analyses suggest addressing forest loss, forest aging, wildfire, and encouraging greater forest growth. In agriculture, analyses suggest addressing animal operation methane emissions and nitrous oxide from fertilizer use. Absent new targeted policies to encourage mitigation practices such as these, existing programs may need to be better leveraged for GHG mitigation, even if that is not their explicit objective. Leveraging existing programs requires coordinated outreach efforts to ensure that practices are not cross-purposed. Development of standards and verification practices is also necessary to ensure desirable outcomes. Finally, greater mitigation may be possible by maximizing the effectiveness of voluntary efforts from private and non-governmental organizations, and not necessarily the implementation of new policies. This conclusion represents a departure from traditional commentary on the subject, but arguably represents a more realistic path forward to achieving climate mitigation objectives in the near-term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
Adaption to Climate Change through Fallow Rotation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
Climate 2017, 5(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030064 - 15 Aug 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1901
Abstract
In this paper, we study the use of wheat land fallow production systems as a climate change adaptation strategy. Using data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture, we find that fallow is an important adaption strategy for wheat farms in the U.S. Pacific [...] Read more.
In this paper, we study the use of wheat land fallow production systems as a climate change adaptation strategy. Using data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture, we find that fallow is an important adaption strategy for wheat farms in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region. In particular, we find that a warmer and wetter climate increases the share of fallow in total cropland and thus reduces cropland in production. Our simulations project that, on average by 2050, the share of fallow (1.5 million acres in 2012) in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region will increase by 1.3% (0.12 million acres) under a medium climate change scenario and by 1.8% (0.16 million acres) under a high climate change scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
Adoption and Dissemination Pathways for Climate-Smart Agriculture Technologies and Practices for Climate-Resilient Livelihoods in Lushoto, Northeast Tanzania
Climate 2017, 5(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030063 - 15 Aug 2017
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 5907
Abstract
Smallholder farmers in East Africa need information and knowledge on appropriate climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices, technologies, and institutional innovations in order to effectively adapt to changing climatic conditions and cope with climate variability. This paper assesses farmer adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and [...] Read more.
Smallholder farmers in East Africa need information and knowledge on appropriate climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices, technologies, and institutional innovations in order to effectively adapt to changing climatic conditions and cope with climate variability. This paper assesses farmer adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and innovation after being exposed to Farms of the Future Approach (FotF). First; we explore and assess the various CSA technologies and practices; including institutional innovations farmers are adopting. Second; we identify and document farmer learning and dissemination pathways that can enhance adoption of CSA technologies and practices. Third; we identify existing institutions that enhance adoption of CSA practices. We use household survey data, complemented by qualitative information from focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The results show farmers are adopting a variety of CSA technologies, practices, and institutional innovations to after participating in the FotF approach with use of improved crop varieties, agroforestry, and scientific weather forecast information cited as the main practices. To minimize their risks and reduce vulnerabilities, farmers are diversifying and integrating five to 10 CSA practices in one season. Matengo pits, SACCOs, and efficient energy stoves were adopted by very few farmers due to their high initial investment costs and unsuitability to the area. Ninety-eight percent of farmers reported that they receive agricultural information orally from a variety of sources including government extension workers, seed companies, researchers, traditional experts, neighbors, radio agricultural shows, religious groups, farmer groups, and family members. Lastly, farmers reported that the FotF approach is a useful tool that enabled them to interact with other farmers and learn new CSA practices and innovations. Suggested improvements to make on the FotF included include longer trip duration, increased number of farmer participants, and gender balance and age considerations to include youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Article
Adaptation: An Agricultural Challenge
Climate 2017, 5(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030056 - 26 Jul 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2357
Abstract
Agriculture is quite sensitive to climate change and to date it has been impacted in many ways. In turn, adaptation to lessen the impacts has attracted increasing attention. Here we discuss private and public roles in adaptation, as well as procedures for the [...] Read more.
Agriculture is quite sensitive to climate change and to date it has been impacted in many ways. In turn, adaptation to lessen the impacts has attracted increasing attention. Here we discuss private and public roles in adaptation, as well as procedures for the evaluation of adaptation projects. Additionally, we discuss adaptation realities and limits that constrain the practical ability of adaptation actions to cope with climate effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
Article
Effect of Global-GAP Policy on Climate Change Perceptions of Smallholder French Beans Farmers in Central and Eastern Regions, Kenya
Climate 2017, 5(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5020027 - 26 Mar 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2480
Abstract
The risks posed by climate change to Sub Saharan Africa’s (SSA) smallholder fresh export fruit and vegetables production are amplifying the significance of farmers’ climate change perceptions in enhancing adoption of suitable adaptation strategies. Production of fresh export fruit and vegetables in Kenya [...] Read more.
The risks posed by climate change to Sub Saharan Africa’s (SSA) smallholder fresh export fruit and vegetables production are amplifying the significance of farmers’ climate change perceptions in enhancing adoption of suitable adaptation strategies. Production of fresh export fruit and vegetables in Kenya has increasingly been done under the Global-GAP standard scheme by smallholder farmers to improve both environmental conservation and market access. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Global-GAP policy on climate change perceptions of smallholder French beans farmers. The analysis was based on data collected from a random sample of 616 households interviewed in the Central and Eastern regions of Kenya. The study used principal component analysis (PCA) to extract farmers’ key prevailing climate change perceptions and logit regression model to examine the effect of Global-GAP policy on climate change perceptions among other socio-economic factors. The PCA analysis extracted three components proxying for ‘droughts’, ‘delay in rainy seasons’, ‘diseases and pests’ and three proxying for ‘hot days’, ‘floods’, and ‘diseases and pests’ as summarizing maximum variance in the perceptions in the Central and Eastern region respectively. The common, study area-wide climate change perception was identified as incidence of diseases and pest. Logit regression analysis found that Global-GAP policy significantly influenced and improved farmers’ probability of perceiving climate change. Other factors found to influence farmers’ probability of having the identified climate change perceptions included regional specificity, access to agricultural extension service, access to credit, plot size, and soil fertility. The policy implication of this study is that the government and service providers should mainstream factors like Global-GAP compliance and regional considerations found to improve probability of perceiving climate change in awareness creation extension strategies, towards enhancing adoption of adaptation measures in the smallholder fruits and vegetables farming sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)

Review

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Review
An Overview of Mitigation and Adaptation Needs and Strategies for the Livestock Sector
Climate 2017, 5(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040095 - 13 Dec 2017
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6909
Abstract
The livestock sector is vulnerable to climate change and related policy in two ways. First, livestock production and performance are directly impacted by climate with many projected effects being negative. Second, the sector may need to alter operations to limit the effects of [...] Read more.
The livestock sector is vulnerable to climate change and related policy in two ways. First, livestock production and performance are directly impacted by climate with many projected effects being negative. Second, the sector may need to alter operations to limit the effects of climate change through adaptation and mitigation. Potential adaptation strategies involve land use decisions, animal feeding changes, genetic manipulation and alterations in species and/or breeds. In terms of mitigation, livestock is a substantial contributor to global non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation opportunities involve altered land use for grazing and feed production, feeding practices, manure treatment and herd size reduction. In addition, strengthening institutions that promote markets and trade, as well as local support programs can help both mitigation and adaptation. Previous literature has summarized the options available to individual producers. This overview extends the literature by including sector-level response as well as the relationships between adaptation and mitigation activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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