Australia’s La Niña flooding is unprecedented. At least 20 people have died, with damage and losses estimated in the many billions of dollars.
Much of the flooding is in the northeastern state of Queensland, whose rivers flow into the Coral Sea, and is expected to have a major impact on the nearby Great Barrier Reef.
Enormous amounts of sediments and pollutants are being washed off the land and are likely to have “a huge impact” on the world’s largest coral reef system, said Charlie Veron, former chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
“The very strong La Niña is certainly causing the floods, but climate change would seem to be enhancing the effects,” Veron wrote in an email.
See full story on how climate change is worsening the effects of the Na Nina-El Nino (ENSO) cycle.