Droughts in Australia

In some years, there are a lot of droughts in Australia.

Australia is the second driest continent in the world (after Antarctica).


Except for the south-eastern and south-western parts of the continent, most areas in Australia don’t get reliable rains. Periods of droughts occur therefore frequently, about once in ten years, and they often last for a few years. Here is some information about Australia drought, its definition and causes, and some historical droughts that have happened in Australia.

Arid Landscape of Dry Cracked Earth in a Drought, South Australia, Australia, Pacific
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Definition of Drought
In Australia, a drought is declared when a region receives less than 10% of its normal rainfall. The areas often suffering by droughts are south-western Queensland, northern South Australia and inland Western Australia.

Animal Skull, Rocks and Cracked Dry Earth, Outback, South Australia, Australia, Pacific
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Historical Droughts on Australian Continent
Some of the worst droughts on the Australian continent occurred in 1895-1903, 1911-1916, and in 1918-1920. Later, there have been some pretty bad droughts in 1982-1983, 1995-1996, and 2002-2003. Although droughts don’t usually threaten human life as do tropical cyclones and bushfires, they make the life hard for Australian desert plants, birds and animals. Cattle and sheep can also be killed, and crops can be devastated causing hard times for farmers. Droughts also cause erosion because the topsoil dries out, and they can cause some major bushfires.

A Shack in the Outback, New South Wales, Australia
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Causes of Droughts

There is seldom a single cause behind a drought. It is usually a combination of factors, such as the climate, El Niño – La Niña cycles, and other weather patterns. Global warming will definitely have its effects on Australian droughts.
 













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