Agencies commit $50 million to create climate change models, study impacts

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. departments of agriculture and energy and the National Science Foundation have created a joint research program that designates nearly $50 million to develop climate system models.

It is hoped the models will provide insights on climate variability and impacts on ecosystems.

“Climate change and its impacts on the land, crops and animals raise some of the most serious issues faced by producers and by society at large,” said Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“It is important to understand its potential effect on our world,” he added, and to do so requires accurate and reliable scientific information.

Joint research

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Department of Energy and NSF will release a request for proposals for the program in fiscal year 2010.

In FY 2010, NSF will contribute approximately $30 million, DOE approximately $9 million and USDA approximately $10 million.

This joint solicitation allows these partner agencies to combine resources and fund the highest-impact projects that support their respective missions without duplicating efforts.

USDA will support research to develop climate models that can be linked to crop, forestry, aquaculture and livestock models to assess the adequacy of potential outcomes of risk management strategies so that development and yields can be projected reliably at different spatial and temporal scales.

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