Australia has had megadroughts for the last thousand years says ice core study

A new study of Law Dome Ice cores tells us that droughts are common in Australia, and that there appears to be eight mega-droughts over the last thousand years, including one that lasted a whopping 39 years from 1174- 1212AD. By their reckoning the 12th Century in Australia was a shocker with 80% of it spent in drought conditions. Things weren’t so bad from 1260 – 1860, at least, as far as they can tell. The researchers are convinced theirs is the first millennial-length Australian drought record. It does seem significant.

The researchers, sensibly, think we might want to pay attention to the Pacific cycles and store a bit more water. Without fanfare the paper also suggests that droughts were worse in medieval times.

“This work suggests Australia may also have experienced mega-droughts during the Medieval period that have no modern analog. Therefore, management of water infrastructure in eastern Australia needs to account for decadal-scale droughts being a normal feature of the hydrological cycle”…

h/t Marvin

  • Minicapt

    First the drought came, then the rains stopped …


  • Raymond Cameron

    Someone will find a way to blame it on Global Warming.

  • Brett_McS

    Archaeological evidence shows that the Australian continent used to be tree-covered. The trees set up a water cycle that kept the rains coming. The loss of the trees – possibly due to the Aboriginals burning them down – stopped this water cycle and led to the creation of a barren interior. It may be possible to reverse that process one day.

  • disqus_sRQwVYwiEu

    We can fairly and accurately lay the responsibility for the paucity of water storage in NSW Australia at the feet of N K Wran as he tried to marry Green/environmental support to the ALP. In NSW Wran was successful in organising this marriage to the everlasting detriment of NSW. Thank you Nifty and the NSW ALP.

    • Brett_McS

      Yep, although there is talk now of building several new dams. The green tide may have receded.

      • Achmed

        Even the environmentalists agree there is no science only Allah.

  • Hard Little Machine

    “No mo water, the fire next time” – Max Rockatansky