Climate Change and Agriculture: a study for the Fitzroy Basin Association

In this study we developed potential ‘best’ and ‘worst’ case climate change impact distribution models for future cropping and grazing using species distribution modelling software. MaxEnt predicts the probability that an area will be suitable for agricultural production based on changes in the climate variables most appropriate for each commodity.  We chose the most appropriate climatic variables based on consultations with farmers, industry, NRM representatives and published literature.
We considered two Global Climate Models (GCM) under the current (baseline) climate and the A1FI emission scenario for 2025 and 2035 representing: 1) a ‘worst’ warmer and drier future (CSIRO Mk3.5) and 2) a ‘best’ cooler and wetter future (CSIRO MIROC-M).  This study found that Agriculture in the Fitzroy Basin will be impacted by climate change

Cropping suitability is predicted to shift and contract from the west to the east. Cropping will be less affected under the cooler-wetter GCM.

Grazing suitability is predicted to shift and contract south and east.
Enterprises in the west are likely to experience stronger climate change impacts.                                                                                                               

Rainfall (May-October) was the most important predictor of cropping.
Average annual temperature was the most important predictor for grazing.
Understanding the spatial changes to agriculture under future climates can inform land management decisions at various scales.



Detailed Descriptions
Geographic and Temporal Extents
Mackay (R), Central Highlands (R), Gladstone (R), Isaac (R), Banana (S), Rockhampton (R)
Brigalow Belt North, Brigalow Belt South, Central Mackay Coast, South Eastern Queensland
Start 2014/01/01 Start text End 2035/12/31 End text
Attributions and Constraints
All rights reserved
The University of Queensland
Cath Lovelock Christine Hosking Morena Mills
Christine Hosking, Morena Mills and Cath Lovelock (2014) Climate Change and Agriculture: a study for the Fitzroy Basin Association. Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland.
Dr Christine Hosking