Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:3 (Summer 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


In Australia technology has reduced but not eliminated the impact of drought and seems set to do the same for the foreseeable CO2-induced climate change. To document this claim, I wish here to consider first a brief history of drought in Australia-pointing up some parallels and contrasts with the North American experience; second, to outline the various strategies (technological and nontechnological) that have been adopted to try to mitigate drought; third, to review the current thinking on the effect of increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 on the Australian climate and their releva9ce to agricultural and pastoral activities through possible modification of the incidence and intensity of drought; and finally to evaluate the history of technological adjustments to drought stresses and to try to forecast the success or failure of such adjustments to foreseeable climate change.