QLD Climate Change report released

BY 2050, the climate will be warmer, the water saltier and the deluges once considered exceptional will be commonplace.

The Federal Government's Climate Commission released its report, "Queensland climate impacts and opportunities", in a series titled The Critical Decade.

It follows a similar report for New South Wales released in May.Both are striking for the ominous tone with which they clearly outline practical challenges to farmers trying to peer into the future.

Although it feels like the heralding of the apocalypse, the report is put together as a risk assessment, to better prepare the state for possible challenges.

The report refers to the use of bio-energy, showing power generators in Mackay and Tully sugar mills as evidence of emerging opportunities for farmers.

Climate Commission chief commissioner Professor Tim Flannery said decisions made in the next few years could help or hinder the effects of climate change on the two states.

"We know climate change threatens Queensland's agricultural industries with studies showing that beef, cereal and sugar production are at risk of decline with higher temperatures, changing rainfall and the spread of pests," he said.

For graziers in both Queensland and New South Wales, beef production could take a hit by 2050 as cattle are prone to heat stress - a condition which affects appetite, amount of milk produced, its quality and the likelihood of breeding.

Cattle ticks and buffalo fly are two in a list of pests that will begin heading towards southern growers and graziers as the heat becomes too much in the north.

Cane growers could be stuck battling waterlogging as rainfall increases while other crops will have to be moved elsewhere as they struggle to fare in evolving weather conditions.

Cotton is at risk of drought, cereals including wheat and barley hurt by the altered conditions and prawn farmers could face damage from rising sea levels, flooding and more ferocious cyclones.

"The report brings together the latest research to paint a clear picture of a changing climate for Queensland," Prof Flannery said.

"This is the next chapter of the climate story, finding ways to act against climate change and seizing the opportunities that it can bring."



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