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Thread: Australia Climate change

  1. #1 Australia Climate change 
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    Another study this week was published showing close matches between climate models and observed changes in temperature and rainfall--this one over Australia and done with high a resolution model most useful for planners.

    The future doesn't look so good with projected continued reductions of rainfall for the next five decades straining hydropower, and water available for agricultural use.


    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v.../ngeo2201.html
    Australia drying caused by greenhouse gases, study shows -- ScienceDaily


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  3. #2  
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    Yup.

    My own view is that, in retrospect, Perth will be seen as one of the earliest, biggest indicators of climate changing. The area had a large, distinct "step down" in amount of water run off into reservoirs in the early 70s and it has never recovered, in fact it's declined even further. Whether that will eventually be seen as the first big sign of the Hadley cell expanding because of ocean/atmospheric heating or an effect of the ozone hole sucking the Roaring Forties weather systems closer to the polar region - or some combination of both acting in concert - or something else entirely, in 50 years time there'll be more detailed analysis. History will identify which of these early signs of approaching general problems for everyone showed up in a few specific, identifiable places and mechanisms.

    In South Australia, the common belief is that the "Goyder line" has already shifted 20 or so kilometres southwards. We'd use different indicators nowadays, Goyder was able to say saltbush this side = grazing only, mixed trees, shrubs etc that side = OK for crops, now we use actual rainfall and evaporation measures rather than this rule of thumb. Apparently the feeling among primary producers is that we really don't have much future for cropping beyond 2050. Original climate benchmark makes a comeback | CSIRO

    I did notice a few years ago that a few properties in the mid-North of the state were putting in some sizable olive groves. I'd say sheep - grazing on saltbush rather than pasture grasses - olives and other dry climate/ desert tree crops might be a better proposition rather than the hopeless insistence on trying wheat/ barley/ canola every year would make a reasonable income for some, but not all, current primary producers in the area.

    Winegrowers in all states are now looking at changing not only some of the varieties they grow but also growing methods. One important thing we've always done is to copy the Northern Hemisphere idea of north south orientation of rows of vines for maximum sunlight. Now they're talking about planting in ways that minimise exposure to hot sun both to control evaporation, thereby minimising water use even further, and to avoid damage to the fruit. I suspect also that many vineyards - at least the premium growers - will become like many orchards, covered in shadecloth.


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