Using meteorological observer data to compare wind erosion during two great droughts in eastern Australia; the World War II Drought (1937-1946) and the Millennium Drought (2001-2010)

No Thumbnail Available
File version
Author(s)
O'Loingsigh, Tadhg
McTainsh, Grant H
Parsons, Katherine
Strong, Craig L
Shinkfield, Phil
Tapper, Nigel J
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors
Editor(s)
Date
2015
Size
File type(s)
Location
License
Abstract

Australian meteorological observers started using the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) weather coding system in the 1950s. This system is still in use around the world today. However, observing and recording the weather in an organized and systematic manner had been ongoing for over 100 years prior to the adoption of this coding system, and much like Australia, most countries will have historical meteorological records. In this paper we compare the wind erosion of two of the greatest droughts in Australian recorded history; the World War II (WWII) Drought (1937–1945) and the Millennium Drought (2001–2009). To do this we analysed previously unavailable meteorological observer records from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM). Wind erosion records, mostly in long-hand written form, were translated to the modern WMO coding system for the WWII Drought and compared with the wind erosion of Australia's recently-ended Millennium Drought, one of the longest and harshest on record. We quantify wind erosion using Dust Event Days (DED) and a modified version of a published Dust Storm Index (DSI) to show that wind erosion during the WWII Drought was up to 4.6 times higher than during the Millennium Drought. This study has international significance because it demonstrates a methodology for tracking changes in wind erosion over the past 75 years based on observer records available in every country with a history of organized weather observation.

Journal Title

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

Conference Title
Book Title
Edition
Volume

40

Issue

1

Thesis Type
Degree Program
School
Publisher link
Patent number
Funder(s)
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement
Item Access Status
Note
Access the data
Related item(s)
Subject

Geology

Physical geography and environmental geoscience

Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified

Persistent link to this record
Citation
Collections