Despite increases in some areas, Australia’s tree cover is at its lowest level in 40 years.
Tree image from David Lade www.shutterstock.com
After some unusually wet years, our landscape and ecosystems have once again returned to poorer conditions that were last experienced during the Millennium Drought.
Barkindji protest outside Parliament in Canberra.
For the Barkindji people, the Darling River has been a symbol of Aboriginal survival since colonial times. Now, the once busy NSW town of Wilcannia is in danger of losing its water.
Flooding in Houston, April 18, 2016.
Extreme weather has an outsized impact on everyday life. Focusing on average weather patterns may make Americans dangerously complacent about how climate change is already affecting our lives.
Data about farms’ financial situation as well as the weather could help identify those most vulnerable to drought.
Forecasting drought should be about more than weather – to help those likely to be hit hardest, we need financial and even health data too.
Mozambique needs to prioritise labour-intensive sectors, including agriculture.
Economic growth forecasts for Mozambique are being revised down. The country needs to safeguard economic stability by taking steps to break with the past.
The extreme architectural investment in Chaco Canyon typifies periods of peak building.
Multiple times over the centuries, climate issues caused Pueblo farming to collapse, taking the establishment down with it. New research suggests there are parallels with American inequalities today.
Water footprints provide interesting information, but they should not be used as a tool for decision-making.
Water footprinting is meant to help countries use water more efficiently. But it may cause more problems than it solves.
Farming land in New South Wales.
Growing population, growing demand for food, climate change: Australia's rural lands are facing a number of pressures. So how can we sustainably use them in the future?
Things got very wet, very quickly, in Brisbane in 2011.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Since 1999, Australia has swung between drought and deluge with surprising speed, because El Niño has fallen into sync with similar patterns in the Indian and Southern Oceans.
One of Melbourne’s drinking water reservoirs at 30% capacity in 2010. At the time of writing, the dam is 60% full.
Despite its long idle, Melbourne's desalination plant plays a vital role in providing water in a drying climate.
Oroville Dam in California, where water levels had fallen 30% by 2014.
Dam image from www.shutterstock.com
California's drought is dragging on into its fifth year. What can the state learn from Australia's 15-year millennium drought?
Extreme weather could trigger ecosystem collapse, including mass tree deaths.
Dead tree image from www.shutterstock.com
Extreme weather will affect people and animals, as well as whole ecosystems. Research using satellites shows that ecosystems worldwide are vulnerable to collapse.
Lake Mead in Arizona – water demand is outstripping supply in the Southwest as the weather has gotten warmer and the population has grown.
The U.S. Southwest drifted into a drier state during the last 35 years due to fewer rain-producing weather patterns and hotter temperatures.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is president of the country as well as the African National Congress. He is under pressure on all fronts.
It is unlikely President Zuma will announce a structural changes in his State of the Nation Address. This, despite education being in dire need of fundamental restructuring and an economy in decline.
CSIRO has contributed to surprising discoveries in climate science. Pictured here is the research ship RV Investigator.
AAP Image/University of Tasmania
CSIRO's climate science has contributed a number of important, and unexpected, findings.
Pencil pines are found nowhere else in the world, and are extremely sensitive to fire.
Bushfires are threatening Tasmania's World Heritage area and ancient plants, warning us of a possible future under climate change.
Rural southern Australia has been drying out over the past several decades. Pictured here, Burra in South Australia.
Australia is the land of drought of flooding rains, driven by events such as El Nino. But despite this variability, some parts of Australia are clearly drying out.
An industrial pulp-wood plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia.
From drought to economic slowdown, 2016 promises a mixed bag for the world's forests.
Maize is a staple food in South Africa. Its production is likely to decline by half this year due to drought. The poor will be the hardest hit.
South Africa has been hit by a severe drought and will not be able to produce enough maize - its staple food - in 2016. This will prompt a rise in imports and therefore food prices.
A hot end of the year contributed to Christmas Day fires in Victoria.
AAP Image/Keith Pakenham
El Niño dominated global climate in 2015, but in Australia the story was more complicated. 2015 was Australia's fifth warmest year on record, and saw the return of very dry conditions to parts of Australia.