Strategies To Reduce Direct Effects of Global Warming CIESIN Thematic Guides

Strategies To Reduce Direct Effects of Global Warming

Several strategies to reduce the direct effects of global warming have been proposed. The level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) can be controlled by encouraging additional measures to reduce both agricultural energy consumption and rates of soil oxidation, according to the 1992 Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Task Force report Preparing U.S. Agriculture for Global Climate Change.

In the United States, strategies for use of trees to sequester carbon range from protecting existing forests to planting trees to recycling carbon by burning energy crops instead of fossil fuels. CAST (1992) discusses strategies for reducing CO2 emissions in the section "Carbon Dioxide (Emitting Less and Sequestering More)." Soils are also crucial in the carbon cycle, because they support plants and store much carbon below ground. Table 6.1 shows management strategies to enhance soil carbon sequestration. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also identifies strategies to maintain and enlarge pools of carbon in the soil and restore carbon to depleted soils in Policy Options for Stabilizing Global Climate (Lashof and Tirpak 1990).

Rosenzweig et al. (1993) report in Climate Change and World Food Supply that preliminary results from the EPA International Agriculture Project suggest severe decline in Mexican maize yields under global warming could be mitigated if climate change is accompanied by increases in irrigation, fertilizer use, and use of drought resistant varieties. Table 5 presents examples of adaptations to possible negative impacts of global warming.