'Godzilla El Niño: time to prepare for mega-droughts

Laurance, Susan, and Laurance, Bill (2015) 'Godzilla El Niño: time to prepare for mega-droughts. The Conversation, 14 September 2015. pp. 1-4.

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Abstract

[Extract] Walking on cornflakes. That's what it sounds like to hike through a rainforest in the grip of a strong drought. Each step crackles with dry snapping twigs and leaves. It's frustrating for field biologists like us – we can forget about glimpsing anything but the most oblivious of wildlife.

Rainforests aren't supposed to be bone-dry like this, and normally they're not. But at our Daintree Drought Experiment in far north Queensland, we and our colleagues have suspended more than 3,000 plastic panels above the forest floor to create an artificial mega-drought. The experiment began only three months ago but already the rainforest beneath is wilted and hurting. The Daintree drought is just a taste of what could be coming soon – not just to our experimental study site but to large swathes of Australia and beyond. Climatologists are telling us to buckle our seatbelts because the ride could get scary. Get ready, they're saying, for an event some are calling "Godzilla".

Item ID: 40563
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
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Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 04:11
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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