Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drought worsening in New South Wales

Nick Ralston in the Brisbane Times: Farmers will battle through the drought because they believe current dry conditions are mostly cyclical and not the effect of climate change, the NSW Farmers Association says. Latest figures released on Monday show that drought in NSW is worsening, with 73.6 per cent of the state now affected, compared with the October figure of 67.7 per cent.

A further 24.5 per cent of the state is marginal, meaning just 1.9 per cent of NSW is considered to be satisfactory. The figures, released by the Department of Primary Industries, show more of the state is affected by drought than at any time in the past two years.

NSW Farmers Association senior vice president John Ridley said a lack of average rainfall should usually only occur once every ten years. But Mr Ridley, who lives in central NSW, said he hadn't seen average rainfall since 2001.

As debate heats up around the federal government's carbon pollution reduction scheme, Mr Ridley said most farmers did not think the big dry in NSW was an effect of climate change. "I think most farmers are a bit cynical about any lasting climate change effect," he told AAP. "They are more inclined to think that the climate is changing at the moment but it will change back the other way….

From 1889, ON THE ROAD FROM HAY TO BOOLIGAL [N.S.W.] - RECENT DROUGHT IN NEW SOUTH WALES-From sketches by our special artist. Wood engraving published in The Illustrated Australian news. The image consists of five panels: Hay -- A changing station -- Sunrise on the one tree plain -- The Booligal sanitary authorities -- Booligal

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