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A national assessment (NA) evaluated the potential consequences of climate change and variability on the agriculture, water resources, as well as other economic and natural resource sectors in the United States. As part of this process, we used scenarios of the HadCM2 GCM and the EPIC agroecosystem model to evaluate climate-change impacts on crop yields and ecosystem processes. Baseline climate data were obtained from national records for 1961–1990. The scenario runs for 2025–2034 and 2090–2099 were extracted from a HadCM2 run. EPIC was run on 204 representative farms under current climate and two 10-year periods centered on 2030 and 2095, each at CO2 concentrations of 365 and 560 ppm. Crops were simulated under...
Drought is among the most damaging of all natural disasters, with complex economic, environmental, and social effects that are often far-reaching and long-lasting. A key indicator of drought severity is the amount of water stored in the soil, often referred to as soil moisture, yet soil moisture measurements are generally underused for drought monitoring. This was once unavoidable because of a lack of soil moisture data, but the situation changed with the advent of large-scale monitoring networks that began in the 1990’s. Still, several key challenges limit the use of in situ soil moisture data for drought monitoring, and inhibit its translation into actionable information for producers and natural resource managers:...