Sunburnt country

The worst drought in living memory is sweeping parts of eastern Australia, leaving farmers struggling to cope and asking questions about their future.

Drought is a fact of life in Australia. The sun-beaten country has struggled through at least ten catastrophic ones since the mid-19th century. But they are now more frequent and severe. Scientists at the University of Melbourne, reconstructing rainfall patterns using tree rings, ice cores, sediment and corals, reckon that the big droughts of the past few decades were more acute than any in the past 400 years.

Record-low rainfall in some regions and successive seasons of above-average temperatures have blighted vast tracts of Australia’s grazing and crop land.

While the weather has improved in parts of Western Australia, winter rain has gone missing across much of the country’s east, leaving farmers praying for rain after planting seed in dry soil or culling cattle and sheep they can no longer afford to feed.

Read more about it: Australian farmers will have to get used to an even hotter climate > https://www.economist.com/asia/2018/10/20/australian-farmers-will-have-to-get-used-to-an-even-hotter-climate?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/australianfarmerswillhavetogetusedtoanevenhotterclimatesunburntcountry

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, History, Nature, World affairs

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