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    Revisiting the 1888 centennial drought
    Ritman, MEH ; Ashcroft, LC (Royal Society of Victoria, 2020-01-01)
    Droughts are a key feature of Australia's climate and can lead to water shortages, crop failure and economic instability. Historical droughts are an important source of information to better understand recent droughts and how they might be managed. However, the majority of studies into Australian drought only consider dry periods in the 20th and 21st centuries. Here, a newly developed gridded rainfall dataset from the Bureau of Meteorology and a network of historical rainfall stations are used to re-examine the short but sharp Centennial Drought of 1888. The Centennial Drought is explored on a monthly scale, highlighting key periods of rainfall deficiency, and identifying the impacts of relevant atmospheric circulation patterns. The most significant rainfall declines occur in autumn and spring and are likely to be the result of an El Niño event, a positive Sub-Tropical Ridge intensity anomaly, and seasonal fluctuations of the Southern Annular Mode. Comparing the Centennial Drought to other short droughts of 1914-15, 1982-83 and 2017~ indicates that the magnitude of the rainfall deficiencies and widespread spatial extent are comparable, placing the Centennial Drought alongside some of the most severe short droughts in Australia's colonial climate history.
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    The Australian Science Communicators conference 2020
    Ashcroft, L ; Cobb, M ; Bailey, L ; Martin, J ; Daniel, S (SCUOLA INT SUPERIORE STUDI AVANZATI-S I S S A-INT SCH ADVANCED STUDIES, 2020-01-01)
    This special issue of JCOM features six commentary articles from the research stream of the Australian Science Communicators conference, held in February 2020. These opportunistic assessments and deliberate analyses explore important themes of trust, engagement, and communication strategy across a diverse range of scientific contexts. Together, they demonstrate the importance of opportunities to come together and share the research that underpins our practice. The conference and these commentaries enable us to engage in professional development during these exceptional times when successful evidence-based science communication is of critical significance.