Climate change in Australia: agricultural impacts and adaptation
Impacts on Australian agriculture of projected climate change are likely to be spatially and temporally diverse, with many regions likely to experience increased downside risk in agricultural production. Some regions, such as south-west Australia, are projected to be particularly at risk of adverse outcomes associated with climate change. The rate and extent of warming, along with impacts on rainfall distributions, are key determinants of agricultural impacts and will affect the success of adaptation strategies. The likely gradual unfolding of climate change should provide farmers in many regions and industries with sufficient time to utilise or develop adaptation strategies. Many of these strategies are likely to be based on farmersâ€™ current responses to climate variability. Investments in R&D and innovation could be important ingredients in facilitating farmersâ€™ adaptation to climate change. Farmers are likely to face additional costs of capital adjustment due to climate change. Investment in long-lived climate-dependent agricultural assets such as irrigation infrastructure, vineyards and agroforestry will become more problematic. Investing in ecological assets in rural regions, especially where these assets may become stranded by climate change, also will be increasingly problematic.
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