Agriculture

Agriculture provides our food. One impact on agriculture is water supply. The current projections for the Murray and southern inland areas is poor with big reductions in production in that area. Perhaps the northern regions will be better watered than now. One problem may be that much of the increased northern rainfall will be in the form of floods rather than the gentle spread out rains needed for cropping.

The other impacts on agriculture will be loss of arable land to the ocean and increase in pests (of all types). Loss of arable land will impact more heavily on other regions of the globe than Australia (eg. southern Vietnam, north-eastern China, river deltas such as Bangladesh, Nile, etc).

The increase in pests is more difficult to asses. We do not know what will happen to insects, invasive plants and bacterial/fungal disease as the biodiversity collapses.

For the Central Coast, we will not be too disadvantaged under current rainfall projections, but the loss of land to housing is likely to continue. It should be expected that food supply will be more difficult to source from outside the local area and we will be forced to provide more of our own food from home gardens.

Food from the ocean is most likely to collapse due to the increasing acidity of the waters and overfishing.

The following assessments indicate the relative proportion of income/effort spent in obtaining nutritious foods compared with today. Please excuse the choice of values, these represent a measure of the increased difficulty of getting food and are not based on any economic modelling. Please use with caution.

Impact type                     2050                             2100                          2300

                                   Low        High                Low        High             Low        High

Local food supply      20%      40%            higher effort needed

Food from outside

             the region     30%      60%                very difficult

[Assessed Aug 2010]

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