The impacts of climate change on healthy harvest.
Climate change is having significant impacts on the future of our food. Sea levels are rising and oceans are becoming warmer. Longer, more intense droughts threaten crops and freshwater supplies.
Weather patterns have become more extreme and unpredictable - causing serious consequences for Australia’s agricultural production. Longer periods of hotter days and increased periods of extreme drought are having major impacts not only on agriculture but forestry, fisheries and our natural ecosystems.
The effects of climate change are threatening the quantity and quality of our food supplies.
Changes to rainfall patterns, prolonged periods of drought, more frequent heatwaves, flooding and extreme weather all make it more difficult for farmers to graze livestock and grow crops. This will limit the supplies of some produce and make it more expensive at the checkout.
As the temperatures warm, we'll see more severe and longer droughts, resulting in habitat loss and increased competition for less food. That’s why we’re working to protect the forests we need for our future.
Why do we need forests?
Trees make rain. They pump water from deep in the ground through the roots and trunk and out through leaves. Water vapour released from leaves lifts biological particles from leaves high into the air. Raindrops form around these, making clouds. Trees are rainmakers.
Like air conditioners, trees cool and humidify air. They slow drying winds, make oxygen, bind the soil, purify the air, cycle nutrients, build soil carbon and buffer weather extremes.
A healthy landscape is a hugely valuable asset. Healthy land is an absorbent sponge, super-storing water and carbon, balancing Earth’s climate and water cycles.
Seafood products are the most highly traded food commodity internationally, and the trade continues to grow. Global seafood consumption has more than doubled over the past 50 years with up to 200 million tonnes of fish predicted to be taken from the sea annually by 2030.
And in addition to increasing demand on ocean resources, rising ocean temperatures and warmer marine environments have made it more difficult for species to recover their populations, due to shifting habitats and changes to marine food webs.
Fish have to migrate farther north to find colder water and coral reefs are dying, which disrupts the entire food chain. Why does this matter? Beyond ensuring food security and nutrition to a large human population, healthy fish stocks are fundamental to healthy marine ecosystems.
Make the #SwitchforNature this Earth Hour and learn more about how 2021 will be an important year for our land.