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(The attached will be released in the next edition of TURFCRAFT on behalf of TQ).

On the 3rd of April 2013, the Climate Commission in Australia released its latest report on the ‘Effect of Climate Change’ in this country basically stating that we have a “totally different climate” now that needs managing by business manages.  This is based on unequivocally endorsed data by all of Australia’s and the world’s, top climate scientists, the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the United Nations, stating that there is ‘strong consensus’ around the central finding and in some cases the weather has changed for good. With the nation’s top climate scientists and science bodies have for the first-time endorsed this major report that now must taken seriously by everyone.

For our turf farmers in Queensland the Commission advises that tropical cyclones will not increase, however the influence of climate change means that they will become far more intense.

What does this mean for the turf production industry in Queensland?

Turfgrass Produces International (TPI) in the United States reports that they had 3527 monthly weather records broken for heat, rain and snow in the USA last year. 2012 has gone down in the record books as the warmest year ever recorded in the USA.

 With this in mind it is a timely wakeup call that we need to review our individual business strategies and ensure we educate the specifiers and end user market in relation to natural, environmentally friendly, turfgrass usage that can be of benefit in all of these natural disaster and event situations with erosion control, nutrient sediment movement and leeching.

For example:

·         Are we as an industry, doing enough in researching the appropriate grasses for our foreshores with nutrient sediment movement and erosion control in the environmentally sensitive riparian zones to ensure healthy and clean water catchments?

·         We have considerable information on nutrient sediment movement and erosion control but is this matched to the appropriate grasses especially in coastal conditions?

·         Are we educating the specifiers well enough with the benefits of natural environmentally friendly turfgrass to suit various projects across the many industries involved in the demand chain?

The industry in Queensland has recently investigated via independent government scientists, the issue o:

 ‘Collation, Analysis and Research of Thermal Benefits of Green Life in the Urban Landscape’s’ and the comparison to a number of construction materials.

Artificial fake turf had significantly higher average maximum temperatures than any other compared material at 61oC

Natural turfgrass as a living product that has low heat emissions when compared to other construction materials such as mulch, concrete, artificial/fake/plastic turf, paving and gravel.

The research categorically shows that artificial/fake turfgrass for example contributes greatly to our urban heat island but also has tremendous downside affect on the environment in general due to its artificial and plastic/rubber manufacturing processes and recycling issues.

Another issue of importance is that natural turfgrass is an excellent sequester of carbon that holds carbon in its root zone underground and matches tree sequestration in capacity.


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