February 18, 2009

It's the Indian Ocean

A land of drought and flooding rains.

Ain't that the truth?

Well, drought, flooding rains and the fires of Hades.

Everyone can, and will, keep bleeting about climate change, but it would seem that there is solid evidence that our drought ridden country is all the fault of the Indian Ocean, and always has been.

Which means all we have to do is fix one ocean and we'll be good to go, at least as far as the whole drought iss-th-ue is concerned.

"The main cause of Australia's droughts and floods has been traced to the waters of the Indian Ocean, according to a new report from the University of NSW.

The study shows that the cycle of El Nino and La Nina events, which have long been thought to play a major role in south-east Australia's weather patterns, are in fact less important than the Indian Ocean, a finding that will have major implications for predicting rainfall in areas such as the Murray-Darling Basin.

The report found that a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole plays a dominant role in determining temperature and rainfall in south-east Australia.

It examined data on changes in the distribution of warm and cool water and found a direct correlation between dipole events and the current drought as well as historical droughts.

"There really is that opportunity to improve seasonal forecasting and seasonal predictions due to these findings, because the Indian Ocean dipole is predictable several months in advance," said the lead author, Dr Caroline Ummenhofer.

"This is something new. This has never, in the historical record, happened before," Dr Ummenhofer said. "So there are some indications that positive Indian Ocean dipole events are becoming more frequent and negative events are becoming less frequent."

The research could explain why the La Nina event, which usually brings more rain, failed to break the drought when it last occurred in 2007.

The research was led by the University of New South Wales, in conjunction with CSIRO and the University of Tasmania."

Should have known that no good would ever come from a dipole event.

(C/O local "CO2" newsletter for February)


  1. See, how easy was that then?!

    When the real cause of a problem is clearly identified the solution is often only a hair trigger away!