Climate change has had a drastic effect on agricultural production on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Farmers on the North Shore are facing difficulties in pollinating their corn crops, while those on Kauai are dealing with the loss of topsoil due to heavy flooding. On the island of Hawaii, warmer nights are making it difficult for macadamia trees to bloom. These climate impacts can also have a detrimental effect on the food security of some indigenous peoples in Hawaii and other parts of the United States. Crops such as taro, breadfruit, and mango are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
These crops are often essential sources of nutrition and can also be of cultural and economic importance. Agriculture and fishing are highly dependent on the climate, and rising temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels may increase the yield of some crops in some places. However, these benefits can only be realized if nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability, and other conditions are also met. Changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods could present challenges for farmers and ranchers, threatening food security. Additionally, rising water temperatures are likely to cause a shift in the distribution of habitats for many fish and shellfish species, potentially altering ecosystems.
In general, climate change could make it difficult to grow, raise animals, and catch fish in the same way and in the same places as in the past. The effects of climate change must also be taken into account alongside other evolving factors affecting agricultural production, such as changes in agricultural practices and technology. Recent research has revealed that climate change has ended seven years of improvements in agricultural productivity over the past 60 years. For a more technical view of emissions from the agriculture sector, see the chapter of the EPA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory on agricultural activities in the United States.