Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Allred, B. W., D. Twidwell, and S. D. Fuhlendorf. 2014. The interaction of climate change, land cover, and political representation in the USA. Ecosphere 5(12):159.


Copyright 2014 Allred et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.


The difficulties in tackling climate change are inherently complex and primarily centered on political and social values. This is evident in the United States where political divisions and polarizations are fundamental barriers to advancing national policies, which in turn hinder international agreements, mitigation, and adaptation. Within the United States, the vast majority of agricultural and natural resource lands are projected to incur significant climate departures and are represented by the Republican Party. The resources and economic sectors that will be directly affected by climate change are represented by national leadership that is unlikely to accept policies to prevent or adapt to change. Given the large impact of climate change on ecosystem services, the predominance of political polarizations raises serious concerns about the ability to enhance the resilience of the nation’s agricultural and natural resource lands in the face of future change.