Not all El Niño events lead to drought in Australia. Other factors are involved and it will take some time for drought to develop now catchments are wet and most dams are full.
The NSW floods are a textbook example of the theoretical impacts we can expect on Australian rainfall as climate change continues.
Drought has both natural and human causes, but deep cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions are urgently needed, regardless.
Freshwater fish are suffering as drought becomes more common and severe. Whether they survive will depend on how governments manage rivers and lakes, and on taking action against climate change.
Australia has always suffered heat and flood, but a detailed seasonal rainfall reconstruction of the last 800 years shows the extremes are intensifying.
Quentin Grafton, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Darla Hatton MacDonald, University of Tasmania; David Paton, University of Adelaide; Graham Harris, University of Wollongong; Henning Bjornlund, University of South Australia; Jeffery D Connor, University of South Australia; John Quiggin, The University of Queensland; John Williams, Australian National University; Lin Crase, University of South Australia; Richard Kingsford, UNSW Sydney, and Sarah Ann Wheeler, University of Adelaide
A dozen leading researchers have issued an urgent call to action for the Murray-Darling Basin, arguing that the billions spent on water-efficient irrigation have done little for the rivers’ health.
Global warming of 2℃, the higher of the two Paris targets, would see current record-breaking temperatures become the norm in the future, potentially bringing heatwaves to both land and sea.
New research shows that global warming has already begun to exacerbate extremes of rainfall in the Pacific region – with more to come.
Droughts are much bigger and slower than other natural disasters that hit Australia - meaning that despite their huge impacts, we still haven’t figured out how best to protect ourselves.
The Grampians, like much of Australia, has swung from Millennium Drought to Big Wet and back again, putting animal populations on a rollercoaster that could get worse as climate change bites.
After some unusually wet years, our landscape and ecosystems have once again returned to poorer conditions that were last experienced during the Millennium Drought.
Neville Crossman, CSIRO; Ian Overton, CSIRO; Jamie Hannaford, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology; Kerstin Stahl, University of Freiburg; Kevin Collins, The Open University; Mark Svoboda, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Mike Acreman, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and Nicole Wall, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Forecasting drought should be about more than weather – to help those likely to be hit hardest, we need financial and even health data too.
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.
Despite its long idle, Melbourne’s desalination plant plays a vital role in providing water in a drying climate.
California’s drought is dragging on into its fifth year. What can the state learn from Australia’s 15-year millennium drought?
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.
The Millennium Drought was bad, but the most detailed record of droughts since 1500 reveals there were far more severe super-droughts in the past.
As El Nino looms, the Murray-Darling is facing another drought. But after almost a decade of investment in water trading and other policies, its prospects are better this time around.