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“Mega drought” warning for Australia: Could last more than 20 years!

A new study has warned that Australia could face ” mega-droughts” lasting more than 20 years in the future.

The latest study paints a worrying picture of future droughts in Australia, with researchers saying they could be far worse than anything experienced in the recent past.

Dr. Georgy Falster

Mega droughts are extremely severe, prolonged and widespread drought events that can last for decades or even centuries.

Researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes say their findings reflect the situation since the Industrial Revolution, before accounting for anthropogenic impacts on climate.

Co-lead author Dr. Georgy Falster, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, said if a mega-drought were to occur in Australia today, the consequences would be exacerbated by the climate crisis because any drought would occur with warmer weather conditions already in place.

Murray-Darling Basin

“Adding mega-droughts, which can occur naturally and last 20 years, on top of climate change means that in the future Australia could face droughts worse than anything experienced in the recent past,” Dr. Falster said.

We need to recognise and prepare for the possibility of one of these multi-decade mega-droughts occurring in the near future,” he added.

The study focused extensively on the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s largest agricultural region, to assess the potential severity of future droughts. The study found that the basin, which is already vulnerable to water scarcity, could face droughts that occur every 150 to 1,000 years and last for centuries…

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