Climate Change – Get The Facts!

Published 20th May 2022. Written by Maddison O’Brien

Australian farmers have tested their resilience with intensifying drought, a pandemic, mouse plague, and floods over the past decade. The data trends point toward lower annual rainfalls and higher temperatures going into the future. While these events relate to climate change, it is still unknown how farmers and their yields will be affected in the future.

Research published in 2021 by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) examines the effects of past and future changes in climate. It sets out how productivity gains to date have been helping farmers adapt to drier and hotter conditions. In the study, ABARES estimates that the post-2000 shift in conditions reduced farm profits by 23% or around A$29,000 per farm per year. Climate change has been more severe among cropping enterprises, with impacts of over 50% observed in some areas!

Now, this is just one estimate from one study, and the results lead to more questions. Getting your head around all this climate change research and what it could mean for you as a landholder is no easy feat. In fact, there are endless, detailed scientific articles written on the subject that the everyday person can’t access without paying a fee!

What if we could have the latest climate change research boiled down to the most critical points and delivered in a neat online session? Professor Mark Howden will be presenting his talk “Farming in a Changing Climate”, which has been curated for farmers with the information they need to know about the implications of climate change moving into the future. Mark is Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions at The Australian National University. He has worked on climate variability, climate change, innovation and adoption issues for over 30 years in partnership with many industry, community and policy groups via research and science-policy roles. Topics he has addressed include agriculture and food security, the natural resource base, ecosystems and biodiversity, energy, water and urban systems.

The unfolding of climate change is all around us. In the past decade, we’ve seen unprecedented fires, heatwaves, droughts, floods and ecological disasters, and the decline of farm productivity and profitability in Australia and globally. Climate change is happening now! But what does this mean for farmers and people living on the land? What kind of future can we expect, and how can we best prepare for what is yet to come?

Get the facts! Mark Howden is joining us for a 1-hour webinar on the implications of climate change on farmers in NSW. Tune in at 6 PM on Thursday 26th May 2022 and make up your own mind! Go to watershedlandcare.com.au/events to register.

Slow the Flow!