An Australian study shows reducing greenhouse gas emissions could bring back the winter rain to the drought-stricken outback.
There is hope Australia's drying outback could once again welcome winter rain - but it could take about a century for global warming to stabilise.
New research from Australian scientists shows a drying trend gripping the Southern Hemisphere sub-tropics could start to reverse once temperatures stabilise beyond 2100, even if it is warmer overall.
It links a lack of rainfall to the rise in temperatures from global warming and found reducing greenhouse gas emissions could eventually bring back the winter rain.
The study published in Nature Climate Change warns drought conditions will continue throughout the 21st century, but the climate could stabilise if international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are successful.
The study relied on pre-existing climate model runs created by the international scientific community to project different conditions extending from the present to the year 2300.
"We found that rainfall in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics decreases while temperatures are rising rapidly, with most of the rainfall reduction occurring in the winter months. When temperatures begin to stabilise, subtropical rainfall starts to recover," the study said.
The results suggest that stabilising global warming may lead to more traditional rainfall patterns.