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Climate change or natural rainfall variability?

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Eastern Riverina Landcare Network


Climate change or natural rainfall variability?

6th July 2007

The drought in our region effects not just farmers but the whole community. The Bureau of Meteorology has an important role in investigating observed variabilities in rainfall. Are these variabilities the effect of human induced climate change or is it simply natural variability?

Perry Wiles, from the Bureau’s Climate Services Centre will address these issues at a dinner of the Eastern Riverina Landcare Network on Friday 13th July in Henty.

“From observations, it appears rainfall varies from year to year but also decade to decade. In Australia, the 1890s to 1947 were relatively dry years. However, 1948 to 2000 were relatively wet years with a rainfall 20% higher than the previous 40 years,” states Perry Wiles.

Is the current drought a relatively short-term problem or a return to conditions of the previous 40 years? Answering this is important to assist farmers and the community planning for the future.

“Rainfall in Australia is highly variable on a seasonal, year to year and decadal time scale. Recently there appears to have been a decline in autumn and winter rain in much southern Australia. An important question then is whether this is due to natural rainfall variability or human induced climate change?” states Perry Wiles.

“These sort of issues effect us all,” says Anthony Male, Chair of the Eastern Riverina Landcare Network. “Our Landcare Network meetings give us an opportunity to hear from experts like Perry. It is our annual dinner and AGM and we hope our landcare members and farmers are able to take advantage of this opportunity to consider this important issue.”

Date: 13th July
Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Henty Community Club, South Street, Henty
Cost: $20 per person.


Anthony Male
Chair, Eastern Riverina Landcare Network
ph. m. 0428 324 870

Perry Wiles
Climate Services Centre
Bureau of Meteorology
ph. 9296 1555

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