Managing Livestock Species under Climate Change in Australia
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This paper examines the vulnerabilities of major livestock species raised in Australia to climate change using the regional livestock profile of Australia of around 1,400 regions. The number of each species owned, the number of each species sold, and the aggregate livestock revenue across all species are examined. The four major species analyzed are sheep, beef cattle, dairy cattle, and pigs. The analysis also includes livestock products such as wool and milk. These livestock production statistics are regressed against climate, geophysical, market and household characteristics. In contrast to crop studies, the analysis finds that livestock species are resilient to a hotter and more arid climate. Under the CSIRO climate scenario in which temperature increases by 3.4 °C, livestock revenue per farm increases significantly while the number of each species owned increases by large percentages except for dairy cattle. The precipitation reduction by about 8% in 2060 also increases the numbers of livestock species per farm household. Under both UKMO and GISS scenarios, livestock revenue is expected to increase by around 47% while the livestock population increases by large percentage. Livestock management may play a key role in adapting to a hot and arid climate in Australia. However, critical values of the climatic variables for the species analyzed in this paper are not obvious from the regional data.
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