One of the big drivers of drought in Australia, the Indian Ocean Dipole, is trending towards a more drought-causing positive state due to climate change, according to new research.
Professor Nerilie Abram from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences said the changes were occurring in the Indian Ocean Dipole's (IOD) behaviour.
"That is going to increase the risk that we will have these very dry and hot years and those are the years where we precondition our landscape to burn," she said.
The 2019 drought occurred at a time where the Indian Ocean Dipole was at a record positive level.
Extreme positive IOD events have been strongly linked to drought in Australia.