Extreme climate: dry, wet, hot-and-dry

Australia is the land of extremes. Extreme events, including too much or too little water, can drastically impact landscape conditions and terrestrial ecosystems. Improved understanding and the ability to predict these extreme wet and dry events is essential for increasing Australia’s resilience to a variable and changing climate.

This project will use multiple approaches to understand the characteristics and dynamics of droughts, extremely wet conditions (above average rainfall years, not floods), and hot-and-dry events across Australia. It will seek to understand whether their characteristics, occurrences, and impacts can be predicted on seasonal to climate change timescales. The results have multiple uses, including to inform strategic planning and management of assets across regions.

This project will work with users and publish case studies to demonstrate the application of the science. One case study will test tools and indicators that identify rapid-onset drought risk. In conjunction with Extreme events explained, this project will explore a case study using a storylines-based investigation into the underpinning drivers behind rainfall swings between dry and wet as well as hot-and-dry events, and how these interactions may change in the future. We will also explore the potential for transforming information from commonly available drought indices into something more meaningful, such as a drought risk rating to inform risk management.

The project combines fundamental and applied research, enhancing Australia’s capability in understanding extreme climate events now and into the future. The project will produce information to support stakeholders in their management of too much or too little water. Many of the project stakeholders including from across all levels of government and water managers have been previously involved in our co-design processes.

Want to know more?

Please contact the project leaders:Christine Chung, Bureau of Meteorology and Dewi Kirono, CSIRO

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