Alaska farms are in trouble because of the climate change threat, a drought, and the decline of their population, says a new study.
The authors say climate change is the biggest factor that is driving Alaska farmers to extinction.
The study, released Wednesday, found that Alaska farmers have experienced the worst decline in agricultural productivity in the U.S. in at least a century.
Alaska’s agriculture has been hit hard by the loss of snowpack in the Arctic, the drying up of the Arctic Ocean, and other factors, according to the study, authored by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
“The average annual precipitation in the western U., Alaska is about three to five times what it was in the 1970s,” said study co-author Kristin M. Stine, a doctoral candidate at the UAFFA.
“The drought and other stressors in the climate are increasing the frequency of extreme weather events, which means we’re seeing the impacts of the weather extremes on the farms in the Western U.P. and the Alaska Peninsula.”
The drought is also putting a strain on the Alaska economy, said Stine.
As much as 70 percent of Alaska’s farms were impacted by the drought in 2016, and more than a third of farms are now suffering losses.
The researchers found that agriculture was the single largest source of Alaska farming losses.
The most common source of losses in the study was sheep, which was the biggest loss among all livestock.
Other losses were from goats and cattle, while the largest losses were due to goats, sheep, and bison.
While the loss in farming in Alaska is a long-term problem, Stine said the researchers were not surprised by the findings.
“There has been a lot of research on this topic, and there have been a number of theories that have been put forward, but there hasn’t been enough to actually prove that it’s happening,” she said.
It is a well-established fact that climate change, which is forcing a shift from a wetter climate to a drier one, will have a long term impact on agricultural production.
This research is a new and exciting example of the importance of looking at the long-run effects of climate change in assessing agricultural systems.
“This is really an opportunity to take a look at the effects of a changing climate, not just on the past but also on the future,” said Stines co-investigator and research associate in the Center for Climate Change and Food Security, Jennifer Wojcicki.
Researchers analyzed the data from over 5,000 farms in 20 states and Washington, D.C. to determine the causes of the losses in 2016.
The researchers found the following: The loss of land and water due to drought and snowpack.
A decrease in the amount of land available to grow crops.
In the past 50 years, the number of arctic winters has decreased dramatically, which meant that more land was available for farming.
Agricultural yields decreased, particularly in the West.
Climate change has caused the loss and degradation of the soil, and decreased water availability.
There has also been a decrease in arctic sea ice coverage.
Some of the land was lost because of changes in land management practices such as land clearing.
Mining and oil and gas extraction have also contributed to the loss.
Stine said that the most common reason for the losses was the lack of snow in the arctic.
Ice in the winter is a natural cooling effect on the soil that can cause it to dry up, which reduces water uptake and water storage, leading to a decrease of the amount available to plant crops.
Stines study found that in the past, the arid regions of the United States were drier than the dry areas of the western United States, and this trend has continued.
Other factors affecting agriculture in the Alaska peninsula include the melting of permafrost in the Chukchi Sea, the increasing salinity in the Pacific Ocean, climate change and climate variability, and a lack of rainfall.
Another study, published in the journal PLOS One in January 2017, looked at the impact of climate variability on the global food chain and found that as the world warms, climate variability will increase the severity of the impacts on food and livestock.
For more information, please visit the UafFA website at: http://www.uaffa.org/agriculture/newsroom/