Selected Essays on Science, Rangelands, and Roles of the Society for Range Management, Volume II

TitleSelected Essays on Science, Rangelands, and Roles of the Society for Range Management, Volume II
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHavstad K
Start Page35
Date Published08/2006
ARIS Log Number197047
Keywordsclimate change, global scales, rangeland management, rangeland science
AbstractThis is a second set of essays that address topics of concern to rangeland science, and the profession of rangeland management. This set of essays primarily focuses on phenomena related to climate change. There are many recent reports where changes in climate at regional to global scales have been quantified. For example, warming during the winter months of the Earth’s Antarctic troposphere has been observed at 0.5-0.7 degrees C per decade over the last 30 years. Recent studies have also documented dramatic increases in discharges of glaciers tied to polar ice sheets in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Most of these changes re presumed to be linked to present level of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 380 parts per million, up from the preindustrial level of the 19th Century of 290 ppm. The USDA, Agricultural Research Service, as well as other research programs in the western US, are addressing objectives for adapting to dynamic environments. There are a number of current research projects generating data sets related to coping with drought, contending with shifting vegetation structure and composition, plant responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, and relationships of vegetation to water yields. These projects will be crucial for informing adaptation of policies and resource management in response to changing climates.