Climate Change and Agriculture: a study for the SEQ Catchments NRM

In this study we developed potential ‘best’ and ‘worst’ case climate change impact distribution models for future cropping, grazing and avocado 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 cropping suitability is predicted to remain generally unchanged from the current climate, with the highest suitability remaining in central SEQ. Grazing is predicted to contract in suitability from northwest SEQ and shift towards southern and central SEQ, particularly under the warmer-drier GCM. Avocado is predicted to shift and contract eastwards and southwards, but remain suitable in much of its current range. Rainfall (May-October) was the most important predictor of cropping. Maximum temperature (November) was the most important variable for avocado production and 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
Case Study
070104 - Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling, 070101 - Agricultural Land Management
Geographic and Temporal Extents
Gold Coast (C), Toowoomba (R), Redland (C), Scenic Rim (R), Brisbane (C), Lockyer Valley (R), Logan (C), Sunshine Coast (R), Gympie (R), Moreton Bay (R), Somerset (R), South Burnett (R)
South East Queensland
South Eastern Queensland
Start 1990/01/01 Start text End 2035/01/01 End text
Attributions and Constraints
All rights reserved
The University of Queensland
Christine Hosking (Adams-Hosking), Morena Mills, Cath Lovelock
Christine Hosking, Morena Mills and Cath Lovelock (2014) Climate Change and Agriculture: a study for the SEQ Catchments NRM. Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland.
Dr Christine Hosking