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University of California researchers:

California farmers must adapt to a warming climate

In the future, heat waves, droughts and floods will be regular climatic events that will force California farmers to change some practices -including what they grow- to continue producing yields that historically have fed people nationwide.

This is the claim of a new study by the University of California, where researchers reviewed 89 studies on climate trends and impacts on the state's diverse agriculture industry, trying to accurately predict how the industry must adjust through the end of the 21st century.

About half the fruit and nuts consumed by people in the US are grown in California, including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, grapes, citrus, kiwi, and more. Yet the state makes up 1.2 percent of the nation's farmland, some of which produces crops grown nowhere else in the country. Agriculture in this state is a $50 billion industry.

According to, in Fresno County, agriculture was a $6 billion industry, with almonds and grapes as top commodities.

"Understanding climate change and how it is impacting agriculture can help us develop relevant adaptation strategies and enhance agricultural resilience to climate risks," said Tapan Pathak, the lead author on the paper, which was published on Agronomy.

“Make no mistake: the climate directly impacts crops and farmers know it.”

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