LONDON (AP) Farmers in northern Australia are bracing for a storm of rainfall, and food shortages and rising water rates as climate change pushes up their demands for feed and water.
A drought that started in February has left farmers with a supply of only 1.6 million tonnes of barley, half the amount needed for a typical Australian Christmas dinner, according to the Food Standards Agency.
The government’s Rural and Rural-Urban Food Research Centre has said it is predicting that in Australia the drought will lead to food prices rising by 2.2% to 3.2%.
The drought has also led to the closure of one-third of the nation’s farms.
The state of Western Australia, which relies on grain, has lost nearly two-thirds of its farmland to drought.
“We are not in a drought, but it is very, very dry,” Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said.
“I have been telling farmers in WA and Northern Territory that we have got to get our land back and we have to get it back quickly.”
The Government of Australia is now looking at what we can do to help the farmers, but we have a long way to go to get to a sustainable situation.
“Australia has the highest population density in the world, with nearly seven million people per square kilometre, the highest per capita of any major country.
Its total population is now approaching the highest recorded in the 1960s, and rising fast.
Australia’s population of 7.5 million is expected to peak at around 10 million by 2050.
But the country is also suffering the most from climate change, and is projected to lose more than 1 billion hectares of forest by the end of the century, according the National Geographic Climate Change Index.
Australia’s carbon footprint is estimated at over 9,700 metric tonnes of CO2 per person per year, with more than half of that coming from agriculture, forestry and agriculture related services, according data from the United Nations Environment Program.
Climate change is also driving an increase in extreme weather events like drought, floods and droughts.
In the western Australian town of Gatton, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Perth, the rains have started to pour.”
There was no rain today.
We have just been hit by a torrential downpour and we had to go back,” said local resident Sarah Macleod.”
It’s a bit of a mess and we are struggling to put out fires as well.
“This is a very, a very wet and sticky season so there is a lot of food out there that we are going to have to buy from farmers.”
She said some farmers were running out of water, and she was worried about the future.
“As the drought progresses and more and more land is affected, farmers will need to do a bit more work,” she said.
But it’s not just farmers who are being hit hard.
The drought in Western Australia has also left the state of Tasmania in the grip of a massive wildfire.
The Hobart region, which has more than 8 million people, has been dealing with extreme weather for months, with blazes raging through the state’s central highlands and a devastating fire that destroyed an industrial park.
Flooding and bushfires have also damaged more than 200 schools, as well as causing widespread flooding in the state, and causing the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights.
“This fire is affecting everyone.
We are losing a lot.
It is devastating to the whole state of Tasmanian,” Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman said on Monday.
“It is a disaster that is affecting Tasmania.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the state was not prepared for climate change.
“Climate change means more rain and more fire, more floods and more bushfires, and that is why we need to take some very urgent measures, and it is clear we are not prepared,” Turnbull said.
“We have had some very extreme fire events in Tasmania in recent times, and we will continue to do so in the coming years.”
The government is also planning to cut emissions by 30% to 40% by 2030, with a target of reducing emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2100.
The state is also seeking to develop a national renewable energy target that could help reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by 20%.
“I am committed to working with the Federal Government to make sure that we don’t make this a situation where we have no option other than to do everything we can to reduce our emissions,” Joyce said on Saturday.
The minister said the Australian Government has committed $50 billion to climate change adaptation and mitigation and will spend $30 billion on renewable energy by 2030.
“That is a big step forward,” Joyce added.
“If you look at what Australia has been doing with our energy policy, this is a huge step forward.
It means we can be a leader in the global