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Obama Administration Tackles Climate Change

A look at proposals affecting agriculture.

While sidestepping the debate over whether climate change is man-made, President Obama recently unveiled a series of proposals aimed at ameliorating the effects of warming temperatures.

How might agriculture be affected?

The strategies were previewed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack during a June 5 presentation. This followed several reports released in the last six months that were authored by USDA scientists on how climate change will affect agriculture and forests in coming years.

"Our farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are the most innovative on earth, and they're up to the task of meeting environmental challenges that lay ahead," Vilsack says.

Like Obama, Vilsack did not engage the claims of climate change skeptics. Instead, he offered up a list of what’s being seen “on the ground.” That includes, “more severe storms. We're facing more invasive species. More intense forest fire threatens communities each year. NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) reported that 2012 was the second-most intense year in our history for extreme weather events -- droughts, flooding, hurricanes, severe storms and devastating wildfire. NOAA also advised that last year was the warmest on record for the continental U.S.”

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