Neil Barraclough, Meerlieu
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
EARLY last year, I had two letters published (Gippsland Times, 22/3/2018 and 24/4/2018), giving reasons why I believed there was a high likelihood of a significant drought in the lead up to March 2020.
I first predicted this drought back in 2009. There may be several factors contributing to the drought so far and its continuation into the future.
Of all the factors, it is likely an 18.6 year lunar cycle is the dominant one.
In October 2013 I sent an article off to Peter Cannon from the NSW Rural Fire Service for its newsletter, and in it, I said:
“In October 2015, the plane of orbit of the moon will have reached the opposite end of its cycle, and the gravitational effect may be the greatest on the tectonic plates on the sea floor in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
“I have been given figures [indicating] two thirds of the world’s volcanos are undersea in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, and their numbers vary.
“This will likely increase the volcanic activity, and the increased volcanic activity will cause the warming of the sea surface associated with el Nino’s.
“Expect a greatly increased likelihood of a significant El Niño during the following four years.”
In late 2015 the sea surface in the Eastern Tropical Pacific heated up exactly as I expected, as could be seen online, with the period now nearly off the graph.
It was followed by a massive heat spike in atmospheric temperatures on an 18.6 year lunar cycle from the spike in 1998.
In response to a post on November 10, 2016, on Eastern Victoria MLC Melina Bath’s Facebook Group I said:
“18.6 year lunar cycle droughts show up in tree ring studies in America and Canada over a 1100 year period, and they show up in rainfall records in eastern Australia, [with] double lunar cycles of 37.2 years more pronounced.
“1981-83 plus 37.2 is 2018-2020.
“Go back every 18.6 years from 1981-3 and there are a very high number of severe droughts.
“There is a very high probability of a severe drought in the period 2017-2021.”
Since 2009 I have expected that the worst period in this drought would likely be the 12 months leading up to March 2020 — the same period that preceded the Ash Wednesday fires.
I am going to suggest that there is a 50-50 chance of the lead up to March 2020 being similar or worse to that period.
A few things have changed.
One is the recent rain in the top end may result in evaporation that could give us some increase in rain from showers in the year to come.
There are many things none of us understand, and I give my predictions knowing I may get it very wrong.
We need to respond to the drought as best we can and pressure government at federal, state and local governments to respond appropriately.