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New Research & Policy Brief on U.S. Farmer Views Towards Climate Change

Recognizing the importance of translating climate change research from the land grant system for policy makers, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture on March 29, 2016 launched a new Research & Policy Brief series. The first Brief, “Understanding the Views and Actions of U.S. Farmers Towards Climate Change (March 2016),” provides an overview of a comprehensive literature review on agricultural stakeholder views and actions related to climate change in the U.S., undertaken by a team of social scientists at Cornell University and The Pennsylvania State University, in collaboration with the USDA NE Regional Climate Hub.

Key Findings of the Study Include:

  • Many U.S. farmers have noticed changes in weather patterns and an increase in extreme weather, yet remain skeptical about climate change and the long-term risks it poses.
  • Studies show that although levels of climate change belief varies among farmers in different regions, and the majority of farmers believe that climate change is happening, fewer farmers believe that climate change is human-caused than those who believe that climate change is occurring.
  • Farmers generally more widely accept adaptation than mitigation measures. Factors such as affirmative belief in climate change and personal experience with local extreme weather are related to increased likelihood to support and/or adopt adaptation practices.
  • Farmer likelihood of supporting mitigation practices seems to be related to factors such as belief in human causation of climate change, concern for negative impacts of climate change, and the presence of economic incentives.

For more information on the CICCA Research & Policy Brief series, or this specific research project, contact Dr. Allison M. Chatrchyan.