29 December 2006

CSIRO: Australia's drought "natural cycle"

Droughted area

For a change, it apparently isn’t connected with anything mankind has done.

Barrie Hunt, researcher, said:

“It is very, very highly likely that what we are seeing at the moment is natural climatic variability.”

After studying a CSIRO model of Australia's natural climate patterns over the past 10,000 years, Hunt said the current drought, whose severity has led some scientists to label it a once in a millennium event, was by no means unique.

He said historical data — which used air pressure, temperature, wind and rainfall information — put current conditions into perspective, revealing 30 periods of drought lasting longer than eight years in the past ten millenia.

“The longest sequence was 14 years in Queensland-New South Wales, 11 in the south-east and 10 in the south-west.”

So... it looks like we just have to wear this one, without suffering any guilt trips.

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