Past megadroughts in central Europe were longer, more severe and less warm than modern droughts


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Monica.Ionita [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Megadroughts are notable manifestations of the American Southwest, but not so much of the European climate. By using long-term hydrological and meteorological observations, as well as paleoclimate reconstructions, here we show that central Europe has experienced much longer and severe droughts during the Spörer Minimum (~AD 1400–1480) and Dalton Minimum (~AD 1770–1840), than the ones observed during the 21st century. These two megadroughts appear to be linked with a cold state of the North Atlantic Ocean and enhanced winter atmospheric blocking activity over the British Isles and western part of Europe, concurrent with reduced solar forcing and explosive volcanism. Moreover, we show that the recent drought events (e.g., 2003, 2015, and 2018), are within the range of natural variability and they are not unprecedented over the last millennium.



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Article
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Primary Division
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Helmholtz Program: Cooperations Across Research Fields (2021-2027): CARF
Helmholtz Program: Cross-Topic Activities (2021-2027): CTA
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
53887
DOI 10.1038/s43247-021-00130-w

Cite as
Ionita, M. , Dima, M. , Nagavciuc, V. , Scholz, P. and Lohmann, G. (2021): Past megadroughts in central Europe were longer, more severe and less warm than modern droughts , Communications Earth & Environment, 2 (1), p. 61 . doi: 10.1038/s43247-021-00130-w


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