Narrator: This is Science Today. Farmers who plant more crops, till the soil less and increase irrigation can have a significant impact on the climate. In fact, climate models used to predict climate change that included such agricultural practices, predicted lower temperatures than models that did not incorporate these factors. Climate scientist David Lobell of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory led the study.
Lobell: We looked at a few things that have been changing pretty quickly with time. One is irrigation and that's an interesting one because in some parts of the world it's expanding pretty fast. In other parts of the world it's either staying the same or it's decreasing. In California , I would put it in the class of decreasing because they're going away from the flood irrigations and more to the drip and sprinkler systems.
Narrator: So, what do these findings mean in terms of global warming?
Lobell: I think it's probably not high enough in the list of globally important things that it needs to be included, but I think as a general rule, I think the entire community of climate modelers are moving more towards finer scale modeling because that's where the adaptations occur – it's not at the global scale.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.