Drought

Led by Nerilie Abram and Jason Evans

The CLEX research program on drought aims to build our knowledge of the processes responsible for drought so that we can better constrain the future trajectories of drought impacts in Australia. We want to know if aspects of drought are predictable, and if they are, what do we need to build into our modelling capabilities to help our nation be better prepared against drought risk in the future?

To determine the processes controlling the frequency, intensity and duration of drought in Australia in the past, present and future.

Our research program will tackle this by addressing two overarching questions:

  • What determines the onset, persistence and termination of drought?
  • Why did the 2017 to 2020 drought in eastern Australia develop and what made it so impactful?

To answer these questions involves working across the ocean, the atmosphere and land. It requires us to understand how ocean-basin scale climate variability alters weather scale rainfall and heatwave events and to understand how vegetation and the land surface modulate these weather events. It also requires testing of how well models capture these processes and identifying what model improvements would give us a greater ability to predict drought risk.

CLEX Research Programs