Drought Persists Down Under

Australians had high hopes for the Pacific weather pattern known as La Nina.

That periodic cooling of the eastern Pacific typically brings increased rainfall to the land Down Under — which would have been a blessing for a country entering its tenth year of drought in some regions.

But, with the La Nina pattern fading, the prognosis is grim.

Heavy rainfalls did indeed come to Australia, but only certain parts, and not in the quantities need to break the enduring drought cycle.

Areas plagued by record-low rainfall are actually increasing, and the resurgence of average rainfall elsewhere wasn’t enough to officially close out the dry spell.

Officials said global climate change is at least partly to blame for the persistent drought.

The problem is so bad that the world’s largest cattle ranch, an almost 15,000 square mile spread in Australia’s northwest, is set to shut down completely in the next few months if no additional rains come.


“Drought getting worse, despite rain”
The Advertiser (Australia), May 6, 2008

“World’s biggest cattle station gets rid of stock”
The Advertiser (Australia), May 6, 2008

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