Climate change and agriculture conference

The Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) 2012 conference brought together scientists, industry leaders and farmers to discuss the future of Australian agriculture under climate change. Science in Public managed the media for this event. The event ran from November 27-29, 2012. Details at www.theccrspiconference.com.au

Sceptical farmers adapt; permafrost methane versus cows; Menzies prizes; CSIRO scoops climate research prize

Today’s highlights are

  • As the weather gets weirder, even sceptical farmers are adapting
  • Permafrost versus burping cows – which produces the most methane
  • Loose joints; safe water; the limits of executive power: Robert Menzies’ legacy lives on with scholarships to young leaders in physiotherapy, engineering, and the law in Sydney and Melbourne.

And I think that’s all the science news we have for this week. Next week we’ll be talking supernovae, quantum computers and nanotech in the run up to the national physics congress in Sydney…  [click to continue…]

Even sceptical farmers are adapting as the weather gets weirder

Climate change will affect how we farm, but we’re not at the point of ‘adapt or die’. Right now the meme is ‘adapt and profit’.

Today’s stories from the agriculture and climate change conference range from farmers sharing practical, on-the-ground experiences, to CSIRO’s take on how ready the industry as a whole is looking. Also: a story about changing fisheries and it’s not good news for the Christmas lobster; prizes announced; and methane – agriculture versus permafrost. [click to continue…]

Stories from day two at the agriculture and climate change conference

Today at the CCRSPI conference on agriculture and climate change

  • Can our farmers really help Australia meet its emissions targets using ‘soil carbon’?
  • What will happen to the nation’s agriculture and industry if a future Government withdraws from carbon pricing and trading?
  • And why is nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s capacity to soak up carbon—the wetlands and estuaries—not included in carbon legislation?

These are crucial questions, given that both sides of politics are relying heavily on Australia’s farmers and the land they cultivate to slow the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ‘clean energy future’ package includes a carbon farming scheme, and Opposition Leader Tony Abbot’s ‘direct action’ plan places much of its hope in soil carbon. [click to continue…]

Carbon farming: river of gold, or flood of words?

Wednesday 29 November at the CCRSPI conference on agriculture and climate change

  • Can our farmers really help Australia meet its emissions targets using ‘soil carbon’?
  • What will happen to the nation’s agriculture and industry if a future Government withdraws from carbon pricing and trading?
  • And why is nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s capacity to soak up carbon—the wetlands and estuaries—not included in carbon legislation?

These are crucial questions, given that politicians of all persuasions are relying heavily on Australia’s farmers and the land they cultivate to slow the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Both sides of politics have pinned their hopes on farmers. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ‘clean energy future’ package includes a carbon farming scheme, and Opposition Leader Tony Abbot’s ‘direct action’ plan places much of its hope in soil carbon. Is this reliance on the land sector justified? [click to continue…]

New strategy in the fight against climate change

Posted on behalf of Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Minister assisting Queensland Floods Recovery and Senator for Queensland

27 November 2012

DAFF12/428L

A revised Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) launched today will help build a sustainable, strong and viable future for Australia’s primary industries.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, launched the strategy to coincide with the CCRSPI conference in Melbourne, attended by government, industry and research bodies.

[click to continue…]

We throw away more fruit and veg than we eat; buying low emission bulls and more…

Australian farmers dealing with climate change

  • We throw away more fruit and veggies than we eat
  • The genetics of burping – buying low emission bulls
  • See the future of your vineyard under climate change? Take a walk downhill.
  • We don’t need to go vegetarian to slash agricultural emissions
  • Minister Ludwig launches new strategy to fight climate change with $50 million in grants
  • Ross Garnaut talks about food security under a changing climate.

Some of today’s stories from CCRSPI – the agriculture and climate change conference in Melbourne.

While world leaders gather in Doha for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 18, Australia’s farm leaders and researchers meet at the MCG in Melbourne to discuss practical adaptation and responses to a changing climate. They’re discussing the viability of carbon farming, climate threats to winemakers, managing methane, sceptical farmers acting on climate change and more. [click to continue…]

Australian farmers dealing with climate change

  • We throw away more fruit and veggies that we eat
  • The genetics of burping – buying low emission bulls
  • See the future of your vineyard under climate change? Take a walk downhill.
  • We don’t need to go vegetarian to slash agricultural emissions
  • Minister Ludwig launches new strategy to fight climate change with $50 million in grants
  • Ross Garnaut talks about food security under a changing climate.

Some of today’s stories from CCRSPI – the agriculture and climate change conference in Melbourne. [click to continue…]

The last good vintage?

Media contacts: Thami Croeser: 0421 133 012 AJ Epstein: 0433 339 141

Winemakers stare down a changing climate

Tuesday 27 November 2012

A few places in Australia have the perfect terroir. But will they keep it in a changing climate.

Wine regions like the Hunter Valley or Margaret River are climatic ‘sweet spots’, combining just the right mix of rainfall and temperatures, in just the right soil, to grow the perfect grape for your chardonnay or pinot.

Now the climate is changing, and these sweet spots may be turning sour. Wineries in North America, Europe and Australia are noticing that grapes aren’t growing like they used to – they tend to be ripening up to a month early, before they’re the right colour or flavour. [click to continue…]