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Authors

Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Scientific Papers or Reports, 54 pages

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin

Format

PDF

Agriculture Working Group

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Synopsis
  • This resource provides an overview of the impact of agriculture on climate change in Wisconsin and details practices that can support reducing greenhouse gases and increase carbon sequestration on Wisconsin farms.
  • The article describes the impact on agriculture from the changing climate while reminding readers that the agricultural sector can sequester carbon in crops and soil and use innovative practices to increase sustainability.
  • A working group report linked on the webpage is an excellent resource for diving deeper into specific agricultural practices and their negative or positive effects on climate change.
  • While reading this article, students will learn about farming practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, manure management, and tailored fertilizer application.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The webpage concisely reports items of action that can be taken in the agricultural sector, supported by research, to help address the climate crisis.
  • The working group highlights the environmental/social justice implications of various agricultural practices, shifting work, and the health of farm laborers.
  • The Additional Information section at the bottom of the page has links to excellent videos to help learners understand more about climate change and agriculture.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand agricultural concepts and terms like crop rotation, cover crop, fertilizer, manure, harvest, runoff, and drought.
  • Students should understand that agriculture operations have multiple potential sources and sinks for carbon and other greenhouse gases.

Differentiation

  • Before reading the webpage, discuss with students where their food comes from and the environmental impact they think food production may have.
  • Consider completing a jigsaw activity by breaking students into groups to learn about one impact of climate change on Wisconsin agriculture and then reporting their findings to the whole group.
  • Have students make a pros and cons list of the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin agriculture and discuss the contradictory notion that climate change may have local, positive impacts on certain types of farming.
  • This resource offers an interdisciplinary opportunity for economics students as they consider some of the economic impacts of implementing climate-smart agricultural practices.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts covers Wisconsin's Agriculture Working Group's efforts to develop adaptation strategies for diverse agricultural industries in response to climate change impacts. It highlights the need to decrease agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions, promote soil carbon sequestration, and enhance agricultural resilience. The primary effects on Wisconsin agriculture due to climate change include changes in growing seasons, increased irrigation demands, and challenges with extreme weather events. The text recommends four strategies to reduce GHG emissions and promote soil carbon storage. Additionally, it addresses environmental and climate justice issues, emphasizing the vulnerability of farm workers and communities to climate impacts and the importance of equitable distribution of sustainable practices among agricultural stakeholders. This website is well-researched and would be a great addition to a classroom discussion on the effects of climate change on agriculture.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Life Literacies and Key Skills
      • 9.4.12.IML.5: Evaluate, synthesize, and apply information on climate change from various sources appropriately (e.g., 2.1.12.CHSS.6, S.IC.B.4, S.IC.B.6, 8.1.12.DA.1, 6.1.12.GeoHE.14.a, 7.1.AL.PRSNT.2).
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