2018 was looking like a dry year.  January 2018 was good; 1,083 mm of solid rain fell over 23-days, awakening the forest from a dryer than usual ‘dry’.  The forest became lush and vibrant.  Water, the essential element for life, was falling in accordance with average years; with average falls in February and March, but then a change occurred.  By the end of November, the seemingly absent wet led to ferns dying, trees collapsing and we were bemoaning the lack of rain.  Our hydro-power system had remained off, since early September.  The four months from July to November yielded less than 100-mm, which for a rainforest, was a real cause for concern.  Climate change seemed to be happening at a faster pace than anticipated and we felt helpless.

Christmas 2018 brought a wonderful drenching.  We and the forest, were saved.  1,442 mm of rain in December included 5-days with more than 100-mm, and the water flowed, grass grew, more trees and branches came down to provide nourishment to a rejuvenated forest.  It was a memorable Christmas with more than a metre of rain in the festive week.

But wait! There was more!  On Sunday 27 January 2019 the Bureau of Meteorology reported that the Daintree River had peaked at 12.6-metres, which was above its 118-year old record of 12.4-metres set in 1901.  In Cooper Creek almost half-a-metre of rain fell in 24 hours (490 mm), flooding the valleys and continuing to fall.  Scientists were baffled as their predictions of the impacts of global warming seemed at odds with the actual weather events.  There were suggestions of massive icebergs, trapped below the sea, melting and contributing to the excess water.

Many of our visitors ask us whether climate change is affecting the rainforest.  Over the 25-years that we have lived here, we have noted enormous variations in rainfall.

Rainfall           Highest           7956mls          2010,   Lowest            2214mls          2002

Number of Wet Days             Highest            300      2012,   Lowest            107      2008

Number of Days > 100ml       Highest            17        2010,   Lowest            3          2016

Wettest Month           February 2011             1,808mls

Driest Month              October & November 2016    8mls

The only constant is change; there is a continuum of change and there are lessons to be learnt.  This ancient rainforest does not fare well in drought conditions.  The ebb and flow of life forces need to be held within an equilibrium that supports harmony for every living entity.   We need to live in it and to accept our custodial responsibilities.  We have to strive together for a better future.