6 Jun 2024

Modellers find decades-long megadroughts on the way for Australia

From Nine To Noon, 9:35 am on 6 June 2024

Australia needs to be prepared for 'megadroughts' lasting more than 20 years, according to climate modellers.

Scientists at the Australian National University used data from computer simulations of the Earth's climate over the past 1150 years. They found it is only a matter of time before parts of Australia would experience megadroughts lasting potentially decades.

Variability in rainfall shows it has happened in the past and is going to happen again. ANU postdoctoral fellow Dr Georgy Falster and colleagues focussed their modelling on the Murray-Darling basin - the southeast of Australia and considered the country's agricultural centre. Dr Falster says climate change could make the intensity of these megadroughts worse.

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