Effects : Droughts & rainfall
Rainfall patterns have changed in Australia over the past 40 years, with southwest Australia and southeast Australia becoming drier and the northwest becoming wetter.
The well-known Australian climatic pattern of severe droughts and flooding rains will continue into the future. However on average the south of the continent is likely to be drier in the future compared with the early to mid-twentieth century, particularly during the cool months of the year. These changes will affect farmers, ecosystems and water supplies.
Recent rains have not been able to make up for the decade of dry conditions with many regions of Australia still experiencing drier than average conditions. Averaged from 1970, the southeast and southwest, Tasmania and the southeast Queensland coast show an overall drying trend. Rainfall in over half of Victoria and about three-quarters of Tasmania remains at very much below average.
More information on drought and rainfall can be found in the Commission’s rainfall report. Alternatively, the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research have also produced a paper on Australia’s past rainfall and future projections.
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- 19 June 2013 - Gold Coast Community Forum