Dean M. Chriss
Charred Tree, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia
(Click image to enlarge)
In 1997 Australia began a period of drought that has not yet ended. In 2006 the drought was said to be the worst in perhaps 1000 years. In January of that year, which is summer in the southern hemisphere, a large fire swept through the central area of Grampians National Park. Two years later large and deeply charred trees stand as a reminder of the fire, though signs of forest regeneration are easily seen.
The last decade has been the hottest and driest on record in Australia, but worse is the fact that this may be just the beginning. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has predicted that rainfall in parts of eastern Australia could drop 40% by 2070, along with a 7 ºC (12.6 ºF) rise in temperature.