Climate Change

What is Climate Change

Climate change is a change in the average pattern of weather over a long period of time. There are multiple lines of evidence that show the Earth's climate system is warming. These include increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.

When scientists talk about climate change they mean warming of the climate system as a whole, which includes the atmosphere, the oceans, and the cryosphere (ice, snow and frozen ground). The evidence clearly indicates that the climate system is continuing to warm, including increasing land temperatures, warming oceans and melting snow and ice.

Climate change is not just about global warming. The science indicates that the climate will be altered in many other ways. For example, there will be changes in rainfall patterns and ocean currents, changes to the intensity and frequency of extreme events such as storms, droughts and floods, rising global sea level and ocean acidification.

Agriculture is an important component of Tasmania’s economy with the gross value of agricultural production at the farm gate (crops and livestock) contributing $984 million in 2006-07 and that equals 5% of gross state production, the largest proportion of gross state production of any Australian state.

Projected changes to climate will have significant impacts on agricultural enterprises at farm, industry and regional scales. The projected increases in both minimum and maximum temperatures are likely to require changes to agricultural practices, including changes to crop choices, reduced time to crop maturity, changes to crop yields and crop quality, and changes in the incidence and severity of weeds, pests and diseases. Farm management, choice of crops and land use could all change substantially as a result of these impacts .

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