Articles on Drought

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As bushfires continue to burn across NSW and Queensland, the Prime Minister and Opposition leader have said policy arguments should be avoided until the immediate crisis has passed, but many disagree. Dan Peled/AAP

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Minister David Littleproud on bushfires, drought, and the Nationals

Minister David Littleproud on bushfires, drought, and the Nationals. The Conversation, CC BY49.3 MB (download)
In this podcast, David Littleproud says "as elected officials, we've got a responsibility" to wait for the right time to talk about the link between climate change and the ongoing bushfires.
Ashurbanipal, last major ruler of the Assyrian Empire, couldn’t outrun the effects of climate change. British Museum

Climate change fueled the rise and demise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, superpower of the ancient world

What caused the rise and then collapse 2,600 years ago of this vast empire centered on Mesopotamia? Clues from a cave in northern Iraq point to abrupt climate change.
Left, farmer Ian Turnbull being who was convicted of murdering compliance officer Glen Turner. Right, Mr Turner’s partner Alison McKenzie outside court. Tensions over land clearing can have tragic consequences. AAP/DAN HIMBRECHTS

Farmers, murder and the media: getting to the bottom of the city-country divide

Politicians and the media often stoke tensions between the city and the country. Nowhere is this more common than on the issue of land clearing – and the consequences can be tragic.
Detecting human fingerprints on complex events like droughts is not straightforward. AAP Image/Dan Peled

The science of drought is complex but the message on climate change is clear

Drought has both natural and human causes, but deep cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions are urgently needed, regardless.
Some towns in northern NSW are likely to see empty dams next year. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

80% of household water goes to waste – we need to get it back

Once water is used in washing, cleaning or even sewerage it can be safely and reliably treated. The treated water is then safe to drink – identical to the original water.
The Coalition has been promoting its $7 billion drought relief package, but critics say what’s needed is a more effective national drought policy. Dan Peled/AAP

A national drought policy should be an easy, bipartisan fix. So why has it taken so long to enact a new one?

Australia's initial drought policy was plagued with problems and gutted in 2009. Since then, there has been no further attempt at developing a comprehensive national approach to the problem.
Extreme flooding during Hurricane Maria in 2017 was hazardous for the Puerto Rican people. But a new study finds that it helped native fish populations rebound after years of drought. AP Photo/Alvin Baez

Caribbean fish love catastrophic hurricanes

Big storms with lots of flooding, like hurricanes Dorian and Maria, actually restore the Caribbean's delicate balance between native and nonnative fish species, new research finds.
Antarctic winds have a huge effect on weather in other places. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr

The air above Antarctica is suddenly getting warmer – here’s what it means for Australia

Each spring, winds circling the South Pole weaken. If they weaken enough, they can actually reverse – causing rapid warming.

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