major ways in which climate change can affect Australian agriculture over the next 30 years, according to James Cook University’s Dr Tobin Northfield from the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences (as told The Huffington Post Australia).
Increased temperatures and droughts are expected to directly reduce food production. “Wheat is a major component of the Australian diet, and it’s highly sensitive to climate variations, with higher temperatures leading to lower yields.” Dr Northfield said.
Increased temperatures can lead to faster growth of pests, which can reduce fruit and vegetable production, pushing up prices. Particularly for those already struggling financially, increased prices will lead to consumption of cheaper and lower quality foods, worsening health issues Australians already face.
Climate change is contributing to pollinator declines, which is expected to reduce production of fruits and nuts.
Beef production may also be under threat, with the heat affecting both the quality and availability of cattle through stress, lower quality feed and more parasites. "Climate change-related reductions in beef and lamb could lead to more Australians eating white meat, seafood and kangaroo," Dr Northfield said.