This study investigates the underlying climate processes behind the largest recorded mangrove dieback event along the Gulf of Carpentaria coast in northern Australia in late 2015. Capitalizing on the satellite observation-based mangrove green-fraction dataset, variation of the mangroves during recent decades are studied, including their dieback during 2015. The relationship between mangrove greenness and the climate conditions is examined using available observations and by exploring the possible role of the mega 2015-16 El Niño in altering the favorable conditions for the mangroves. The mangrove greenness is shown to be coherent with the low-frequency component of sea-level height variation related to the El Niño southern oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the equatorial Pacific. The sea-level drop associated with the 2015-16 El Niño is identified to be the crucial factor leading to the dieback event. A stronger sea-level drop occurred during austral autumn and winter, when the anomalies were more than 12% greater than the previous very strong El Niño events. The persistent drop in sea-level height occurred in the dry season of the year when sea-level was seasonally at its lowest, so potentially exposed the mangroves to unprecedented hostile conditions. The influence of other key climate factors is also discussed, and a multiple linear regression model is developed to understand the combined role of the important climate variables on the mangrove greenness variation.