NSW Government invests $2.5 million in climate research

The State Government will invest $2.5 million in climate research in an effort to shed light on the management of climate change for the State’s primary industries and the environment.

The funding has been provided to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) under the NSW Greenhouse Plan to bolster its research capacity to address climate change.

The research will look at a range of subjects from soil and pasture management through to educating farmers about understanding climate change predications.

The NSW Greenhouse Plan says that there may be a tendency for drier conditions, heavy rain storms may become more intense and more frequent and other extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent as our climate changes.

The funding will be injected into research that spans across industries, regions and different environments and will complement the objectives of the NSW Greenhouse Plan.

It will explore opportunities for managing soil organic carbon in agriculture, development of a climate change risk assessment tool for farmers, developing elite trees for forests and methods for increasing preparedness for climate change.

The NSW DPI has already had success in cattle breeding research that has identified genes that reduce methane emissions from cattle.

This genetic trait can be bred for and, fortunately, is linked to feed conversion efficiency, so cattle who are more efficient converters of feed also emit less methane.

The new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction and Climate Change Research Projects are listed below:

  1. Measure and manage soil carbon stocks in agriculture and forestry to offset greenhouse emissions in line with Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol (Collaborative project with DNR). Across NSW.
  2. Develop a system to allow Catchment Management Authorities to act as “pool managers” and trade carbon credits on behalf of individual landholders. West Pennant Hills and Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute.
  3. Quantify the impact of zero-tillage summer/winter response cropping on the cracking clay soils of north-western NSW on soil carbon storing. Tamworth Agricultural Institute.
  4. Model the impacts of climate change on specific agricultural sectors and regions of NSW by downscaling global climate models. Across NSW.
  5. Quantify the impact of perennial pastures in southern NSW on soil carbon storing. Richmond and Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute.
  6. Develop elite germplasm (seeds and clones) of alternative species of Eucalypt that have the potential to produce economically viable forest plantations in low rainfall environments of NSW. Quirindi, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Tenterfield.
  7. Develop an energy budget for wood products used for building in NSW and determine the greenhouse impact of timber waste disposal options.  The results will inform energy rating systems, waste disposal strategies, carbon sequestration schemes and greenhouse accounting policy. West Pennant Hills.
  8. Deliver 10 regional forums in partnership with CMAs, Landcare and local government, to help farmers and rural communities understand current climate change predictions. Across NSW.