Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Wednesday will detail plans to establish seven regional hubs tasked with helping Americans to mitigate the scourge of climate change.
The centers, which the administration is calling "climate hubs," will be overseen by the Department of Agriculture. They are tasked with studying fires, invasive pests, flooding and droughts and using the research to provide guidance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to cope with the problems.
"Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
The announcement comes on the heels of President Obama vowing in his State of the Union Address last week to act aggressively on climate change.
Vilsack first spoke about creating the climate hubs last year, while underscoring the need for farmers, ranchers and foresters to adapt to climate change. Government research projects that average temperatures in the main U.S. growing regions may spike by as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit over the next four decades.
Later today, Vilsack will formally announce plans to establish the first climate hubs in Ames, Iowa; Durham, N.H.; Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; El Reno, Okla.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Las Cruces, N.M.
Three subsidiary hubs will be established in Houghton, Mich.; Pio Piedras, Puerto Rico;and Davis, Calif. They will focus on narrower issues than the main regional hubs.