1863: Drought Followed by Devastating Flood

Settlements along the Clarence River in NSW were inundated with record-breaking floodwaters that claimed the lives of 9 people and caused extensive damage to riverside towns and farms in February 1863. The flood followed 2 months of wet weather that had brought an end to a severe drought. The relief felt after the drought broke … Continue reading 1863: Drought Followed by Devastating Flood

Piecing together Australasia’s past

The University of Western Australia hosted a workshop last week that brought together a group of researchers who are piecing together a detailed reconstruction of Australasia’s climate over the past 2000 years. The group, know as Aus2K, is the Australasian component of an international effort coordinated by Past Global Changes (PAGES) to reconstruct the Earth’s … Continue reading Piecing together Australasia’s past

1837: Sydney’s North Shore on Fire

On November 29, 1837 hot and windy conditions sparked extensive bushfires that raged across Sydney's north shore, an area that is now a dense urban landscape. Fires were reported all the way from Mosman to Parramatta spanning approximately 20km along the northern shore. "Whatever direction the eye turned fires were to be observed" reported the … Continue reading 1837: Sydney’s North Shore on Fire

Extreme weather in 2011: A Scientific Perspective

Monster cyclones in Queensland, floods in Victoria, bushfires in Perth, heat waves in Russia and snow storms in Europe were a few of the extreme weather events that prompted a recent public talk on the scientific perspective of current extreme weather. SEARCH researchers Karl Braganza (Bureau of Meteorology), Neville Nicholls (Monash University) and David Karoly … Continue reading Extreme weather in 2011: A Scientific Perspective

River Murray’s record low flow

The dramatic drop in water flowing through the River Murray between 1998 and 2008 was probably a once-in-1500-year event according to a new study by researchers at the University of Melbourne. The study reports that although streamflow has varied considerably in the last 200 years, there is a 98% chance that the streamflow deficit experienced … Continue reading River Murray’s record low flow

El Nino influenced Australian identity

Extreme weather events linked to El Nino Southern Oscillation played a hand in shaping the culture of modern Australia according to a new book chapter by climate historian Don Garden. The chapter examines the social, political and cultural significance of The Federation Drought, which has been linked to a series of strong El Nino events. … Continue reading El Nino influenced Australian identity