A good old Aussie BBQ may not taste quite as good for future generations, according to new research.
A study of the impact of climate change on 55 foods grown in Australia, found the quality of beef and chicken may plummet, eggplants may look weirder than they already do and carrots could taste worse.
The report by researchers at the University of Melbourne said Australia’s dry deserts will become hotter, heavy rain will increase in areas like NSW and cyclones will become less frequent but more intense in the north.
It found those predictions will impact agriculture production and force farmers to adapt to changing conditions.
That could mean cattle farmers switch to more heat-tolerant, but lower eating-quality, cows and winemakers will have to migrate south or face lower-quality yields.
The cost of apples could rise as farmers try to combat extreme temperatures with shade cloths, while bananas could go back to 2006 post-Cyclone Larry prices if cyclones of severe intensity chew up Queensland crops.
Cheese could be harder to get as extreme heat reduces milk production and the fight against disease in Atlantic salmon farms could be more difficult.
University of Melbourne associate professor Richard Eckard said the report was a wake up call, with some of the affects predicted in the next five decades.
“It makes you appreciate that global warming is not a distant phenomenon but a very real occurrence that is already affecting the things we enjoy in our everyday lives,” he said.
Crop farmer Rob McCreath, from Felton, QLD, said farmers were at the pointy end of climate change.
“Last year was our hottest on record, this ones shaping up to be even worse, and we’ve got a raging drought over a vast area,” he said.
“In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, our idiotic politicians are hooked on coal and gas, which is the cause of the problem.”
The report was developed as part of the Earth Hour campaign, which encourages Australians to switch off lights on March 28.