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Warming Winter: Cause for Concern or Celebration?

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Australia is no stranger to warm weather, but after recording its hottest start to the year, concerns are mounting over how this will affect winter temperatures and rainfall. 

The sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean have increased 2 degrees above average, and historically that translates to below-average rainfall for Central and Southern Australia, and potentially an early start to bushfire season. 

This follows an already dry season, and storage levels have barely increased in the Southern Murray-Darling Basin, and haven't changed for the Northern Murray-Darling Basin, which are sitting on 7 per cent.

With the continued warm weather and lack of rain affecting pastoral farming, local councils are investigating what the future will hold for Australian agribusinesses. 

Goyder Council are hosting a free conference tomorrow afternoon, "Farming Conversations - A Focus On The Future", and while there will be a focus on finance and emerging technologies, CSIRO members will be present to field other queries. 

Is there relief in sight?

For the short term, there's good news for the region; this weekend there's a strong chance of showers for the Spencer Gulf, Mid North and Clare Valley, with thunderstorms predicted for the Eyre Peninsula.

Previous dry conditions in these areas haven't adversely affected lower-layer soil moisture, with key agriculture zones recording an average reading. 

While the arid climate isn't a call for celebration, there is a silver lining: a strong and thriving future in renewable energy, with local communities profitting from what is fast becoming one of Australia's best assets: the sun. 


Written by Erin Connellan
Photo by Pixabay via Pexels