Rain on Our Parade: La Niña and the Impact of Climate Change on ‘Sunny’ Sydney

Julia Miller

Abstract

In 1963 Sydneysiders, having suffered four dismal summers in a row and wetter than usual weather during the 1950s, looked back to those lazy, hazy days of the summers of a distant past where the sky arched blue over the gleaming golden sand of the quintessential Australian beach. City dwellers in the dying months of 1963, worried by persistent rain and cool temperatures, concluded that soggy weather had become the established norm. More recent experiences of wet summers in Sydney have blamed this on La Niña—a short-term climate driver that brought heavy rains and flooding to many districts of eastern Australia. This article examines the impact of natural climate cycles on attitudes to weather in Sydney. It shows how an investigation of the cultural interface of weather and climate can illuminate attitudes that impact on our ability to plan for climate change into the future.

Keywords

Climate change; weather; La Nina, El Nino; ENSO; Sydney weather

Full Text

PDF