More Drought for Australia?

CC by Tim Keegan, 2007. Obtained from website

CC by Tim Keegan, 2007. Obtained from website

Researchers from various universities around Australia including those from within CSIRO have published a paper predicting that greenhouse warming will increase the frequency of extreme weather events due to a combination of both El Nino and a phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole.

The Indian Ocean Dipole influences extreme rainfall events in the countries bordering the Indian Ocean. A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) brings heavy rainfall to countries in East Africa and drought to countries to Australia and South-east Asian neighbouring countries. A negative pIOD has the opposite effect. Coupled with the strong El Nino that has been predicted recently by scientists, the researchers believe it is likely to cause an extreme drought situation for Australia in the near future.

The researchers have used various climate models and records of extreme pIOD events in the last 50 years to predict the effect of global warming on the frequency of these extreme events. They believe that climate change accelerates the frequency of strong events of pIOD coupled with El Nino causing possible extreme drought for Australia, particularly in the south-east. An informal article written by the scientists to introduce and explain their research has been written on The Conversation website.

You can also access the research paper here. If you are off-campus and trying to get the full-text of this paper, please ensure that you have the VPN client downloaded and running, and are logged into Internet Access.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Indian Ocean Dipole and other information about climate change and global warming, access the library guide Climate Change from the library website. This guide is a collation of relevant books, journals, databases, websites and other materials gathered together by our library specialists in the sciences about all aspects of climate change.