Climate

Australia drought risk revealed in ice core analysis

29 March 2018

Mike Foley, The Land
29 March 2018

Short-term thinking may be blinding us to Australia’s real drought risk.

Eastern Australia’s rainfall patterns are dominated by climate cycles across the Pacific Ocean that last a rough average of 30 years.

Our understanding of this cycle is evolving. But we know enough to prove Australia’s 100 years of instrumental weather records does not paint the full picture, said University of Newcastle Associate Professor Anthony Kiem.

“The Millenium drought shouldn’t be a surprise in Australia,” he said.

“I’m not interested in scaring people or sensationalising the issue. But you have a false sense of security if you only look at the instrumental records and say the Millenium drought is the worst on record – let’s plan for that.”

Mr Kiem is working on groundbreaking research that delves 1000 years back into the palaeo record of our climate history to  reveal long-term patterns of variability.

Read the full article here.