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Why WA’s south-west is drying out at one of the worst rates in the world


Rainfall has declined significantly in the last 50 years over WA’s south-west. As parts of Western Australia are tipped for another scorching hot summer, climate change is leaving a worrying footprint on the south-west of the state.

Experts agree the region is drying out at a globally significant rate.

It was one of the first places on the planet to see a trend of rainfall reduction, and the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report pinpoints it as one of the few regions in the world where the bulk of models agree drying will continue So what’s going on?

Since the late 60s, rainfall in the region has declined by up to 20 per cent overall.

Figures show in recent decades, the downward trend has gained momentum

[ A decile map shows where April-October rainfall is above average, average or below average for the last 20 years, in comparison with the entire rainfall record from 1900. (Supplied) ]According to Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) Pandora Hope, who has been researching south-west WA for the last two decades, it ultimately comes down to two factors.The cold fronts and lows that cross the region during the cool months of the year, bringing rainfall and […]

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