Rethinking Australia's climate history

Drought image

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found evidence of climate change that coincided with the first wave of European settlement of Australia, which effectively delivered a double-punch of drying and land clearance to the country.

The research, co-authored by Dr Jonathan Tyler from the School of Physical Sciences, was published in Quaternary Science Reviews. It suggests that eastern Australia, including Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, was much drier after 1890 than the Little Ice Age period that preceded it.

“We found that the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about 1500-1850, was much wetter than periods before or after it,” says lead researcher Associate Professor John Tibby, from the University of Adelaide’s Department of Geography, Environment and Population.

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Tagged in Research, School of Physical Sciences, Geology and Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Sprigg Geobiology Centre

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

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Video competition