Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate change is a natural phenomenon of long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns. However, human activities over the past century have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. The burning of these fuels has increased the concentration of greenhouse gases, namely:

  • water vapour - H2O
  • nitrous oxide - N2O
  • methane - CH4
  • carbon dioxide - CO2.

These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect by trapping the heat radiating from earth to space. The more greenhouse gases there are, the more of the sun’s energy is trapped and the greater the rate of warming.

For the Limestone Coast, climate change has already resulted in hotter and drier fluctuations with more variable and extreme weather patterns that are projected to continue over this century and beyond.

There are many ways that primary industry businesses can adapt to a changing climate to sustain productivity in an environmentally responsible way, including:

  • incorporating climate change impacts into primary industry infrastructure planning (for example building confinement feeding pens, increasing shade and shelter for livestock)
  • selecting new crop, livestock, pasture species or genetics better adapted for a changing climate
  • building resilient soils through the addition of organic matter to improve soil structure and water holding capacity
  • responding to market signals for environmentally responsible primary industry practices
  • developing preparedness plans for higher bushfire risk days and periods of drought or shorter rainfall seasons
  • using seasonal forecasts to manage production risks
  • monitoring and responding to emerging pests
  • adopting technology to improve water use efficiency – e.g. satellite imagery, new crop or pasture genotypes and/or minimum or zero tillage
  • making the most of the ‘good years’. The most profitable farmers are agile. They are able to adapt quickly to take advantage of higher rainfall years, while reducing inputs and costs in low rainfall and drought years.
  • continuously reviewing and changing primary industry practices when necessary.