Projected impacts of climate change on primary industries

Discussion papers

The following papers provide additional background on climate change and the four major primary industry sectors - agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining.

They were prepared as background papers for a NSW DPI workshop on climate change priorities held in Sydney in October 2007.

Reduced winter and spring rainfall, and increasing temperatures are the major direct effects of climate change on primary industries in NSW.

Indirect effects are greater pressure on water resource and greater incidence of fire.

Some of the potential impacts of these changes on NSW primary industries are outlined below.



Impacts across agriculture vary and are addressed according to industry sectors.

Horticulture | Pastoral Farming | Cropping | Irrigated crops



Over the next 30 to 70 years (one to two plantation rotations) a number of climatic variables are predicted to change. The potential impacts are not well understood, especially for Australian tree species under typical Australian conditions.


Fishing and aquaculture

Aquatic systems and hence fisheries, especially in estuarine and marine areas, are expected to be affected by rising sea levels, increasing acidity of marine waters, increasing global temperature, and changing rainfall patterns (amount and variability).



The mining industry is likely to face growing community concerns over environmental issues. This is likely to increase the difficulty in obtaining approvals for mining projects (particularly for coal).