This is a brief description of studies that exemplify the methods and approaches that have been developed and used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers in conducting integrated assessments. See the complete list of Integrated Assessment Briefs to find out more about ORNL's efforts in integrated assessment. Contact Mike Farrell ( for more information.

Carbon Dioxide--Climate Interactions: Challenges for Agriculture

Horticultural scientists tend plant breeding trials aimed at developing improved crop varieties.

Breeding programs for major agricultural crop species are capable of meeting adaptation needs associated with climate change. Breeding programs for many regionally important, specialty, and /or perennial crop species may face greater challenges.

Will significant adjustments at the regional scale of agricultural production be required because of CO2-driven climate change?

Analyses of potential influences of climate change on agricultural ecosystems typically ignore regionally important specialty crops that may be especially sensitive to geographic shifts in climate.

Impacts of climate change on agriculture will vary from crop to crop, location to location, and system to system. Adaptation may be constrained by factors other than climate and crop genetic capability, including availability of suitable soils and adequate supplies of water.

Shriner, D. S., and R. M. Cushman. 1989. Interactions between CO2 and climate have unknown consequences for agriculture. pp. 127-28. In Environmental Sciences Division Annual Progress Report for Period Ending September 30, 1988. ORNL-6521. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Where To?

[ Next Brief | Section 2 | Table of Contents for ORNL Integrated Assessment Briefs ]

Integrated Assessment Briefs. 1995. ORNL/M-4227. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.