Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Major Australian droughts traced to different causes

Date:
January 6, 2010
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Southeastern Australia has been subject to several severe, long-term droughts during the past century, including the "Federation" drought (1895-1900), the "World War II" drought (1937-1945), and the "Big Dry" (1997 to present). All three droughts were widespread and devastating, but until now the causes and nature of these three droughts had not been compared. New research highlights the differences in the nature and causes of these three droughts.

Southeastern Australia has been subject to several severe, long-term droughts during the past century, including the "Federation" drought (1895-1900), the "World War II" drought (1937-1945), and the "Big Dry" (1997 to present). All three droughts were widespread and devastating, but until now the causes and nature of these three droughts had not been compared. Verdon-Kidd and Kiem highlight the differences in the nature and causes of these three droughts.

The researchers find that the droughts exhibited different severity, spatial extent, and seasonality. In addition, the three droughts resulted from different climate modes: The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) were the primary drivers of the Federation drought; the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and ENSO were major causes of the Big Dry; and a combination of Indian Ocean, ENSO, and SAM was a causal factor of the World War II drought.

The authors note that most attempts at forecasting droughts have focused on ENSO as a primary driver; the new results indicate that planners and drought managers should take into account other climate modes and their interactions when predicting drought conditions.

The research is published in Geophysical Research Letters. Authors include Danielle C. Verdon-Kidd and Anthony S. Kiem: School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Verdon-Kidd et al. Nature and causes of protracted droughts in southeast Australia: Comparison between the Federation, WWII, and Big Dry droughts. Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (22): L22707 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL041067

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Major Australian droughts traced to different causes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183625.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2010, January 6). Major Australian droughts traced to different causes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183625.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Major Australian droughts traced to different causes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091230183625.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins