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Farmers told to adapt to climate change

Cath McAloon, Thursday November 14, 2013 - 16:00 EDT
Audience submitted image
Australia is on track to record its hottest ever year in 2013. - Audience submitted

The latest world weather report, indicating the globe is on track to record one of its warmest years, should send a strong message to farmers to plan for climate adaptation, according to an expert in agriculture and climate change.

The United Nation's World Meteorological Organisation is reporting 2013 is expected to rank among the top ten warmest years since modern weather records began in 1850.

Blair Trewin, a climatologist with the Bureau of Meteorology says record hot temperatures in Australia have significantly contributed to the overall result.

"Australia was probably the most exceptional part of the world this year," Dr Trewin said.

"The year so far in Australia has been the warmest on record by a fairly substantial margin. Up to the end of October we were running 0.24 of a degree ahead of the previous record year, which means that unless November and December are significantly cooler, 2013 will be Australia's warmest year on record."

The UN organisation says the 2013 data continues a long-term warming trend, with all of the warmest years to date occurring since 1998. The trend is so strong that the coldest years now are warmer than the hottest years before 1998.

"The globe is getting warmer and inexorably our agricultural systems are going to have to adapt to what will be higher temperatures, and it will depend on where you are, but in some cases, less rainfall," said Snow Barlow, a professor of agriculture at Melbourne University.

He says farmers, who are so reliant on the weather, need to plan for a changing climate.

"They will need to be thinking about how they continually adapt as they move forward."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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