Climate change creating less rain but more storms

CLIMATE WORKSHOP: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officer Damien O'Sullivan speaks at the Noosa Landcare climate forecast workshop.
CLIMATE WORKSHOP: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officer Damien O'Sullivan speaks at the Noosa Landcare climate forecast workshop. Amber Macpherson

A CLIMATE expert says a pattern of less rain in the Noosa region is linked to the effects of climate change.

On Tuesday morning, Noosa Landcare hosted a climate workshop for agricultural groups to discuss predictions of rainfall and weather this winter.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officer Damien O'Sullivan said records of the last 100 years show Pomona's rainfall has consistently decreased.

"Even though we had some pretty significant rainfall events - the 2011 floods, the 2013 floods, there was much bigger rainfall 100 years ago,” Mr O'Sullivan said.

"All the pointers would be indicating something towards that (climate change).

"We're seeing less frequency of weather systems, but ones with much more intensity.”

Mr O'Sullivan said due to Australia's landscape, it has the largest variable amount of rainfall in the world.

"Australia has the world's highest levels of year to year rainfall variability in 100 years of data,” he said.

"People tear their hair out during floods and droughts but this is the environment we live in.

"In other countries, there's mountains along the edge stopping those weather systems from coming across.

"We don't have those mountains to stop and irrigate that rainfall here.”

Mr O'Sullivan explained some of the systems that best predict the weather for the short and long term future.

"El Nino and La Nina are probably the most important indication of rainfall and temperatures in this region,” he said.

"Today we're looking at the Southern Oscillation Index, which relies on statistics to predict rainfall. They can give you a pretty clear indication of forecast.

"Right now it's 50-50 for the forecast rainfall this season, so it's equal chances higher or lower than average rainfall.

"It's about how to read seasonal forecasts and apply it to your own situation.”

Topics:  climate climate change noosa landcare pomona rainfall weather winter

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