Articles on Drought

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Many farmers are now facing a future in which it is much harder to make a living off the land. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Farmers’ climate denial begins to wane as reality bites

A decade ago, only a third of farmers accepted the science of climate change. But surveys show attitudes have shifted in recent years as the farming community begins to confront what the future holds.
Maximum temperatures for January to September were the warmest on record for the Murray–Darling Basin and New South Wales. DEAN LEWINS/AAP

Australia moves to El Niño alert and the drought is likely to continue

After the warmest month on record, it looks like Australia will have an El Niño event – which means the drought is likely to continue.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s tropical cyclone outlook is out today. AAP Image/Bureau of Meteorology, Japan Meteorological Agency

Trust Me, I’m An Expert: Cyclone season approacheth, but this year there’s a twist

Cyclone season approacheth, but this year there’s a twist. The Conversation, CC BY31.4 MB (download)
Australia must come to terms with some fundamental shifts in our weather patterns. This month, Andrew Watkins from the BOM and climate scientist Joelle Gergis explore what's in store.
The Flock Bronzewing is an inland species that is vulnerable to drought. Those vulnerabilities are heightened in an era of climate change and increased risks from feral predators. Shutterstock

We must strengthen, not weaken, environmental protections during drought – or face irreversible loss

Australian wildlife can generally cope with drought, but they're not prepared for the combination of people, introduced animals, and no water.
Trees have died in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo., as climate change has intensified bark beetle infestations and drought. Patrick Gonzalez

Human-caused climate change severely exposes the US national parks

As climate change alters temperature and precipitation patterns across the US, it is having especially severe impacts on national parks. These changes could happen faster than many plants and animals can adapt.
Morrison’s brush strokes on his own portrait are designed to create the image of a leader tuned to the voters’ concerns, rather than the “Canberra bubble”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Morrison aims to make agility his prime ministerial trademark

Morrison is tactically quicker than Turnbull, just as in his messaging he can cut through more sharply. He's more attuned to the emotional and knee-jerk drivers of today's politics.
Environmental water is not a luxury – it’s vital for river ecosystems and everyone who depends on them. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Giving environmental water to drought-stricken farmers sounds straightforward, but it’s a bad idea

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested changing the rules to allow 'environmental' water to be diverted to drought-hit farms. But the idea would be far less straightforward in practice.
The 2016 Maple fire (photographed in July 2017) reburned young forests that had regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone fires. More frequent high-severity fires are expected in the future as climate warms, which may change patterns of forest recovery. Monica Turner

Here’s how forests rebounded from Yellowstone’s epic 1988 fires – and why that could be harder in the future

Huge fires roared through Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988, scorching one-third of the park. Since then the park has been a valuable lab for studying how forests recover from fires.
Scott Morrison visiting a Queensland farm this week. Alex Ellinghausen/AAP

Drought is inevitable, Mr Joyce

Having an envoy for drought and a prime minister keen to visit drought-affected areas puts the government under pressure to do the wrong thing.
Farmers need help to plan for droughts, not just to respond to them when things get desperate. Stephenallen75/Shutterstock.com

To help drought-affected farmers, we need to support them in good times as well as bad

The government has offered emergency payments to drought-stricken farmers. But if we really care about them, we'll also invest in long-term drought resilience measures to reduce impacts.

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