Drought in the past two years has dealt a devastating hit to the wheatbelt in Western Australia. The country’s most productive region for growing grain. Since 2000, the winter rains have dropped by more than 20%. And has shifted areas of grain production toward the coast. Our latest research has revealed that this dry weather is nothing normal for the region.
In actual fact, when we looked at rings on centuries-old tree trunks. We found that the region has experienced far more severe megadroughts over the last 700 years. The records of Australia’s instrumental climate only cover the past 120 or more years (at the very least). This means that these droughts in the past might not have been prior to scientists.
Our study also showed that the 20th century. The most wet of the past seven centuries in the Wheatbelt. This is significant, as scientists may have underestimated the real potential. For drought and it will only worsened by climate changes.
What Learn From The Wisdom Of Ancient Trees Drought
We calculate the probability for extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and cyclones from what we can learn from the instrumental climate records of weather stations. Expanding climate records for several hundred or more years implies that scientists will be able to have a greater understanding of the variability in climate and the likelihood of extreme weather events.
It is possible to do this in many areas of the world by using proxy records such as tree rings, stalagmites, corals and stalagmites as well as Ice cores from Antarctica. These records provide evidence of the past climate changes as they expand.
For instance, trees usually form a new growth growth rings around their trunks, right below the bark, every year. Growth depends on the amount of rainfall that is recorded throughout the course of the year. The more rain falls, the greater growth will occur and the bigger the rings. We made use of growth rings from native Cypress tree (Callitris columellar) in the vicinity of a large salt lake that lies at the eastern border of in the region of wheatbelt. They can be alive for as long as 1000 years, possibly longer.
We can study the growth rings of forests without cutting the trees down making a careful opening into the trunk, and removing a column core made of wood that is about as big as a drink straw. By measuring the widths of the rings we created a time-line of the growth of trees and used it to calculate the amount of rain that fell the course of the tree’s existence. This technique has enabled us to reconstruct the most recent 668 years of autumn-winter rains across the entire wheatbelt.
The History Of Mega Drought
One of the biggest issues facing those living in this region of wheat is whether or not the decrease in the amount of rain that falls in autumn and winter in recent years is unusual or even extreme. Our extensive track of rainfall data allows us to answer this question. Yes, the amount of rainfall since 2000 was lower than the 668-year average, however, it wasn’t terribly low.
The last two decades might appear particularly bad due to our expectations of rain in the wheatbelt region are probably from memories of earlier rainfall. However, this recurring wet weather is actually an exception. Our tree rings showed that the 20th century was more wet than any other century in the past 700 years having 12% more rainfall during the winter and autumn seasons, on average, than the 19th century.
Prior to the 20th century, the region was hit by five droughts that were more prolonged as well as more intense than any drought we’ve ever experienced in our lifetime or been documented in records of instrumental instruments. These included two dry seasons during the 1800s and the 19th century, which continued for more than 30 years, which is why they’re referred to as megadroughts.
The most recent dry season has lasted for more than two decades the amount. Rainfall will be at least 10% more than what it was during the two previous megadroughts. This implies that prolonged droughts are a normal and common occurrence of the climate of the wheatbelt.
How Does The Human-Caused Climate Change Drought Impact
It’s probable that the natural climate variability as well as human-caused climate changes contributed to the recent decrease in rain. However, it’s also probable that their combined impact will result in even more rain in the near future https://corkcellarswinebistro.com/.
What Will Happen Next?
The results of our study have significant implications in assessing the risk of drought. We now know that we have to go beyond these instrumental data to better. Estimate the potential risk of droughts in the wheatbelt. In the present proxy climate records, such as tree rings aren’t typically employed in models for drought. Risk because there aren’t many of them in the areas that researchers want to study.
The improvement in risk estimates results in more informed decisions. About planning for and managing the consequences of droughts and future natural catastrophes. Our findings offer a troubling outlook regarding the direction of agriculture within the Wheatbelt.
Australian farmers have shown remarkable innovativeness in their ability adapt to drought. Many have shifted from agriculture to livestock. This flexibility will be vital when farmers face a dry and more difficult future.