For example, the NRCS promotes conservation practices that store, or sequester, carbon in the soil, reducing the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gasses while simultaneously adding organic matter to the soil. Farmers benefit not only from increased soil fertility but from the expanded capacity of such soil to capture and retain water, which builds resiliency to several recognized hallmarks of climate change: extreme precipitation events, high temperatures and drought.
Another NRCS program attacked the root cause of climate change, the burning of fossil fuels, by providing financial assistance to replace old combustion engines with newer, less polluting ones.
Studies conducted by the NRCS help farmers and ranchers understand and prepare for what they are likely to face under climate change. Identifying conservation standards that positively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration, the NRCS enables conservation planners to choose practices that are most effective in addressing the consequences of a rapidly changing climate. The NRCS has developed the world’s largest soil carbon data set, establishing a benchmark against which future soil carbon levels can be measured. (more…)