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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d89aug18

Global Warming and the Future of Texas Agriculture, 46 pp., June 1989. Off. Natural Resources, Texas Dept. Agriculture (POB 12847, Austin TX 78711; 512-463-7504).

The most direct impact expected is the northward movement of many crop zones; a larger area of south Texas may be suitable for fruit and vegetable production, and corn may be widely replaced by grain sorghum. In the western part of the state, the most significant factor may be reduced water availability; irrigation demand may increase, total cropland may decrease, and as much as half of the piney woods of East Texas could disappear. Most of the policy responses that the agricultural sector can use for adapting to or reducing contributions to climate change involve making a transition to a less energy- and input-intensive system. These goals should be adopted regardless of global warming. Recommendations include reducing the use of nitrogen fertilizers (which release the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide); developing strategies that reduce the impact of direct sunlight and wind on crops; aggressively developing water conservation strategies; restoring diversity to grasslands, wetlands and forests; developing drought contingency plans; and increasing funding for rainfall enhancement research.

Item #d89aug19

Changing Animal Disease Patterns Induced by the Greenhouse Effect--A Preliminary Study (8W-3651-NIEX), E.C. Stem, G.A. Mertz et al., 80 pp., Oct. 1988. Tufts Univ. School of Veterinary Medicine (200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton MA 01536; 508-839-5302).

The implications of the greenhouse effect for changes in the patterns of animal disease in the United States were considered based on existing literature, and potential economic effects were determined, as a basis for making recommendations for further study. Because of the strong interdependency of the world livestock industry, future study should not be limited to the United States. Many animal diseases are kept in check by climate restrictions. Animal diseases likely to become increasingly important with global warming fall into three categories. Vector borne diseases (Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, bluetongue, babiosis) may become increasingly important as larger areas become suitable. Zoonotic diseases (including toxoplasmosis and worms) may become more important as warm seasons lengthen. The present enormous threat of foreign animal diseases (African swine fever, Rift Valley fever) could have an even greater chance of becoming established. Several of the diseases examined involve humans in some manner.

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