Epic Drought Strikes Australia

australia.gifWhile many articles draw a direct connection between Australia’s ongoing drought and global climate change, the connection is far from solid at this point. But what is clearly understood is that the ongoing and worsening drougt in the interior of Australia is having profound impacts on it’s agriculture, economy, and beyond.

The opening of one article reads like a Hollywood doomsday movie:

Australia is in the midst of a crippling drought, the country’s worst on record. Many towns and cities have been forced to enact drastic water restrictions as reservoirs have run dry. Rivers have been reduced to a trickle. The drought has severely damaged the agricultural sector. Farmers are raising emaciated cattle and sheep. Cotton-lint production has plummeted. Wine grape and rice output has collapsed. Agricultural production has fallen by almost one-quarter in a year. And it is estimated that the drought has knocked three-quarters to 1 per cent off the country’s growth as a whole.

The author should be reminded that one season does not a climate make. While this worsening drought may very well be exacerbated by global warming, the evidence is far from conclusive and years and years of data must be taken in total to draw conclusions regarding any long-term climatic shifts.

[tags]Australia, Drought, Extreme Weather, Climate Change[/tags]

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