An overview of climate change adaptation in Australian primary industries – impacts, options and priorities

Agriculture Climate change adaptation Australia

• The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report concluded that the agriculture sector in Australia is particularly vulnerable to climate changes, with potential negative impacts on the amount of produce, quality of produce, reliability of production and on the natural resource base on which agriculture depends. This vulnerability requires high levels of adaptive responses. • The benefits and positive opportunities presented by climate change may start to peak during the initial stages (possibly mid century), but the negative impacts may lag behind, becoming progressively stronger over time and with greater build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Caution is therefore needed not to underestimate the long-term challenge of climate change based on initial, more moderate experiences. • This review has identified a number of potential options for Australian agriculture to adapt to climate change. Many of these options are extensions or enhancements of existing activities that are aimed at managing the impacts of existing climate variability and improving the sustainability and efficiency in the use of natural resources.

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