Dairy Farmer
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Climate change in Australia

Dairy Farmer
Colin Davies rolls out alfalfa for his dairy cows in a dusty paddock at his Victoria dairy. Rising feed costs and a decrease in milk prices are forcing many dairy farmers out of business. (Los Angeles Times / Brian Vander Brug)
Ranchers provide feed to cows in a burned pasture near Marysville, northeast of Melbourne. Thousands of cattle perished in the Feb. 7 “Black Saturday” bush fires that claimed the lives of nearly 200 people in Victoria state. (Los Angeles Times / Brian Vander Brug)
A muddy dam in a bone-dry field attests to the depth of the drought in Victoria state. Most of Australia is in the grip of the worst drought in more than a century, and its state capitals are operating under draconian water restrictions. (Los Angeles Times / Brian Vander Brug)
Fruit Farner
Frank Eddy, who has an orchard in Victoria state, has been removing and burning heat-stressed trees rather than waste precious water on them. Behind him is a pile of uprooted peach trees slated for burning. (Los Angeles Times / Brian Vander Brug)
Sunburned apples hang on overheated trees at Santo Varapodio’s orchard in Victoria state, Australia. Varapodio, whose family runs a large fruit operation, says this summer’s heat wave “cooked” his fruit. (Los Angeles Times / Brian Vander Brug)
Tim Flannery, a professor at Macquarie University in Sydney who has sounded alarms about global warming’s toll on Australia, says that “the cost to Australia for climate change is going to be greater than for any developed country.” (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Russell Garaid walks through his neighbors’ yard, where water-damaged belongings are piled outside the flooded home on the Herbert River in Queensland state. Australians in the south would see water as heaven-sent, but in the north, it’s considered a curse. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Herbert River
Russell Garaid enjoys a cold beer on the back porch of his home overlooking the Herbert River in Queensland, which flooded in February. The government had to airdrop supplies to residents who were cut off. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Wivenhoe Dam
Graham Keegan, Wivenhoe Dam’s engineering officer, makes his way past water-level markers on the shores of the reservoir near Brisbane, Australia. Drought conditions have pushed the water level below 40% of capacity. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Firefighters set backfires in the bush near the town of Buxton in Victoria state after high winds were forecast. Firefighters were hoping to contain the wildfire that began on Feb. 7. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The “Black Saturday” fire left behind charred cars and homes in Buxton, Victoria. Climate scientists say Australia — beset by drought and bush fires in the south and flooding in the north, among other problems — epitomizes the “accelerated climate crisis” that global warming models have forecast. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Children at St. John’s Primary School in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg wear hats for protection against ultraviolet rays during lunch outdoors. Because of a hole in the ozone layer over much of Australia, schoolchildren are discouraged from going outside unless they wear hats. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Sunbathers bask on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. The continent has the world’s highest skin cancer rate. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)