Texas A&M University’s Dr. David Briske and Dr. Bruce McCarl joined six other U.S. scientists, recently to publish two assessments that identify trends and projections for rangeland effects of climate change and evaluate adaptation strategies.

“These papers offer an objective, comprehensive assessment of climate trends and contingency planning as it relates to North American rangelands,” said Briske, a professor in the department of ecosystem and science management at Texas A&M.

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Changes in mean climatic trend and increased variability will affect the ability of rangelands to provide ecosystem services and support human livelihoods, but in varied and geographically specific ways, Briske said.

Climate models project that the U.S. Southwest and Southern Plains will become warmer and drier. The Northwest will become warmer and drier during summer and experience less snowpack in winter. The northern United States and southern Canada are projected to become warmer and wetter.

“Such developments will affect rangeland enterprises and productivity,” said McCarl, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research economist.

Read more about the new assessments of climate change.

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