We enjoy a terrific range of food in Australia! Here in Mudgee we can be served a delicious variety of dishes at our choice of restaurant or cafe. Our markets and supermarkets provide us with an astonishing assortment of ingredients and condiments. Yum!
Did you know that choice is likely to be greatly reduced as global warming continues? The evidence is that food production will be severely affected. Nutritional quality will decline. The outlook is very, very bleak.
How can this happen, I hear you ask?
Droughts and floods – It is generally known that the ‘droughts and flooding rains’ of Dorothea McKellar’s famous poem will increase in frequency and severity. As we have seen recently, crops will fail or be destroyed, and animals will fail to thrive or be destroyed.
Grains – Higher temperatures will reduce pollen viability, seed set and grain yield in rice and sorghum. The CSIRO has stated: “High night temperature induces contrasting responses for spikelet fertility, spikelet tissue temperature, flowering characteristics and grain quality in rice”. Oh dear, your favourite Chinese meal will not give you the boost it used to! Kansas State University has stated: “Adverse high temperature effects on pollen viability, seed-set, seed yield and harvest index of grain-sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] are more severe at elevated carbon dioxide due to higher tissue temperatures”. Definitely food for thought!
Bees – Higher temperatures will cause hive melt-downs. This occurred locally last summer as temperatures soared and bee-keepers lost hives as the wax and honey melted, and poured out the hive entrance. Remember, bees pollinate over 40% of the plants we eat!
Animal Stress – Chickens die if exposed to temperatures > 37 degrees for an extended period. Through their meat and eggs, chickens represent one of the most important sources of protein for humans.
Inundation – The world’s great river deltas are its most productive farming areas. These will be lost as sea levels rise.
Find out more about climate change and agriculture in Australia. Check this informative website…
Farmers for Climate Action: https://www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au/climate_change_and_agriculture