droughts of past decades have burnt the term El Nino into the Australian
vocabulary, but after the drought of 2018, perhaps the IOD — short for Indian
Ocean Dipole — might also become a household name.
ago, an Australian team led by a young climatologist, Caroline Ummenhofer,
began trawling through more than 100 years of Australian drought records.
conventional thinking was that El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) drove
Australia's drought cycle.
University of New South Wales team was looking for a different culprit, and at
the turn of the millennium, a new climate driver was discovered — the Indian
Ocean Dipole (IOD).
It worked a lot
like El Nino, but on the western side of the country in the Indian Ocean.
Ummenhofer discovered the IOD was an even bigger factor than El Nino in driving
long-term Australian droughts.
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(ABC NEWS 7/12/2018)