Understanding hydroclimate processes in the Murray-Darling basin for natural resources management

Gallant, A. J. E. and Kiem, A. S. and Verdon-Kidd, D. C. and Stone, R. C. and Karoly, D. J. (2012) Understanding hydroclimate processes in the Murray-Darling basin for natural resources management. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 16 (7). pp. 2049-2068. ISSN 1027-5606

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Isolating the causes of extreme variations or changes in the hydroclimate is difficult due to the complexities of the driving mechanisms, but it is crucial for effective natural resource management. In Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), ocean-atmosphere processes causing hydroclimatic variations occur on time scales from days to centuries, all are important, and none are likely to act in isolation. Instead, interactions between all hydroclimatic drivers, on multiple time scales, are likely to have caused the variations observed in MDB instrumental records. A simplified framework is presented to assist natural resource managers in identifying the potential causes of hydroclimatic anomalies. The framework condenses an event into its fundamental elements, including its spatial and temporal signal and small-scale evolution. The climatic processes that are potentially responsible are then examined to determine possible causes. The framework was applied to a period of prolonged and severe dry conditions occurring in the southern MDB from 1997-2010, providing insights into possible causal mechanisms that are consistent with recent studies. The framework also assists in identifying uncertainties and gaps in our understanding that need to be addressed.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Author(s) 2012. CC Attribution 3.0 License. Open access journal.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2013 08:05
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 04:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia; climatic process; driving mechanism; dry conditions; hydroclimatic; multiple time scale; Murray-Darling Basin; natural resource management; ocean-atmosphere; resource managers; temporal signals; time-scales
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.5194/hess-16-2049-2012
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20205

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