The agricultural sector is vulnerable to the impact of climate change due to decreasing rainfall, increasing temperature, and the frequency of extreme weather events. A modelling framework was developed and applied to identify issues, problems and opportunities arising in regional agricultural systems as a consequence of climate change. This integrated framework blends together land suitability analysis, uncertainty analysis and an optimisation approach to establish optimal agricultural land-use patterns on a regional scale for current and possible future climate scenarios. The framework can also be used to identify (i) regions under threat of productivity decline, and (ii) alternative crops and their locations that can cope better with changing climate. The methods and contents of the framework are presented by means of a case study developed in the South West Region of Victoria, Australia. The results can be used to assess land suitability in support of optimised crop allocations across a local region, and to underpin the development of a regional adaptation policy framework designed to reduce the vulnerability of the agriculture sector to the impacts of climate change.
Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 14, 2010