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Research Thesis Topic

Climatology of flash drought over Australia

Topic ID:

Thesis Topic/Title:
Climatology of flash drought over Australia


Flash drought is a term and concept used to describe a drought that has undergone rapid intensification. Due to its rapid intensification, the impacts of flash droughts will likely occur too quickly for many of the usual drought-coping mechanisms to be deployed especially for agricultural flash drought events. Another challenge of the rapid intensification feature is that flash droughts are difficult to monitor and forecast. Understanding how flash droughts develop is crucial to improve their predictability. A systematic flash drought detection framework over the historical period based on high-resolution observation-based flash drought index (Evaporative stress index: ESI) will be built to analyse its climatology and their link with climate drivers. To ensure the success of flash drought detection, verification work will be carried out by collecting field data on flash drought occurrence and impacts felt by farmers in collaboration with the coordinator of regional climate advisers (Climate Mates). The observed flash drought climatology will be then used as a reference to assess the Bureau's forecast model ACCESS-S2’s ability to accurately reproduce flash drought. Potentially a flash drought forecast product from ACCESS-S2 ensemble forecasts could be developed along with the flash drought monitoring product to inform the relevant agriculture industries. Flash drought projection can also be implemented using the Bureau's high-resolution land surface model (AWRA-L) in collaboration with the hydro-projection project.

Principal Supervisor

Associate Supervisors

Research Affiliations
  • International Centre for Applied Climate Sciences

Field of Research
  • Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
  • Atmospheric Sciences

Available Academic Programs
  • Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
  • Master of Research (MRES)

Application Open Date

Application Close Date

USQ Scholarship Applications

Other Scholarship Funding Details
The Northern Australia Climate Program will consider funding a stipend

Pre-approved for Ethics
Not Applicable

Admission Requirements

Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic

Dr Hanh Nguyen and Dr Matthew Wheeler from the Bureau of Meteorology will be co-supervisors.

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