Thousands of cattle perished in a freak snowstorm during the first weekend in October 2013 in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. That’s an incredible number, and yet the story received surprisingly little attention.
100,000 cattle died in the winter storm.
Researchers are racing to develop farm animals that can survive imaginary climate change.
The LA Times reported:
When a team of researchers from the University of Delaware traveled to Africa two years ago to search for exemplary chickens, they weren’t looking for plump thighs or delicious eggs.
They were seeking out birds that could survive a hotter planet.
The researchers were in the vanguard of food scientists, backed by millions of dollars from the federal government, racing to develop new breeds of farm animals that can stand up to the hazards of global warming.
Some climate-change activists dismiss the work, which is just getting underway, as a distraction and a concession to industrial-style agriculture, which they blame for compounding the world’s environmental problems. Those leading the experiments, however, say new, heat-resistant breeds of farm animals will be essential to feeding the world as climate change takes hold.
The experiments reflect a continued shift in the federal government’s response to climate change. With efforts to reduce carbon emissions lagging behind what most scientists believe will be needed to forestall further warming, the government increasingly is looking for ways to protect key industries from the impact.
In agriculture, “we are dealing with the challenge of difficult weather conditions at the same time we have to massively increase food production” to accommodate larger populations and a growing demand for meat, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.