Modelling to evaluate agricultural adaptation to climatechange in southern Australia uri icon


  • An important issue for Australian agriculture is the capacity to adapt to predicted climate change.The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2009) refers to adaptation as ?adjustment in natural andhuman systems in response to actual or expected climate stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm orexploits beneficial opportunities?. Conceptualizing and evaluating adaptation options in agriculturalindustries should be conducted at the farming systems level (Rickards et al. (2012), Hayman et al. (2012))because it is at this level that management decisions are made and financial as well as natural resourceimpacts will be felt. In particular whole-farm analysis can represent purposeful, goal-seeking systems (Dillon1976) to assess farmers? profitability and the system?s sensitivity to risks such as climate variability andchange. The potential of Australian dryland agricultural systems to adapt to climate change with perennialplants was assessed by Farquharson et al. (2013). Perennial plants have deeper rooting systems withimproved access to soil moisture, making them better suited to warmer and drier climates. Climate data weregenerated using Global Circulation Models (GCMs) downscaled to specific locations and corrected for bias(Liu and Zuo 2012). The climate data were used to estimate growth and yield of grain crops, pastures, and anenergy-tree crop using process models such as APSIM (McCown et al. (1996)) and GrassGro (Moore et al.(1997). Plant yield and production estimates and economic data (prices of inputs and commodities) were usedin bio-economic models (MIDAS (Kingwell and Pannell 1987) and IMAGINE (Abadi and Cooper 2004)) toidentify the most profitable land use and the cash flow of options available to growers

publication date

  • 2013