Climate change could soon hit Australian supermarkets and consumers' stomachs as dwindling food production and supply looms in the corner along with other countries all over the world, according to a recent study.
According to a report from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, changing climate and increasing unpredictable weather patterns could decrease global food production by two percent per decade for the rest of the century due to increased frequency of drought, storm intensity, rainfall changes, and temperature changes.
This new update could potentially threaten not just the more than half million Aussies who directly rely on fishing, farming, and grazing, but the 23.29 million Australians in general. More specifically, chocolate, oyster, coffee, meat, mangoes, beer, and wine will be greatly affected according to an article from ABC.
International Analyst Tracey Allen also pointed out in an article from Bloomberg that the agriculture sector will be greatly affected. Cane may be exposed to drier-than-normal weather. She also mentioned that palm oil, wheat on the east coast of Australia and cocoa to some extent may also be affected.
Based on the weather observations, experts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) already raised the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) tracker to ALERT level early this month. The bureau mentioned that there is a high probability of the El Niño phenomenon starting early July and that this might be the strongest hit in two decades.
It is expected that there will be below average rainfall during the winter for the southern and inland part of Australia in the coming months while there will be warmer daytime temperatures and longer frost season in the southern part of the country. Rainfall is expected to arrive at a later period in the northern part of the country as normal wet season and monsoon will come later than normal. Increased number of tropical cyclones, risk of fire, and drought are also expected to happen in the next few months.
According to Dr. Leanne Webb from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, we are already seeing some changes. She stated: "Predicted average temperature increases affect the annual cycle of events like harvesting."