Climate Dynamics

, Volume 35, Issue 2–3, pp 315–329 | Cite as

Three centuries of Slovakian drought dynamics

Article

Abstract

Tree-ring data from Slovakia are used to reconstruct decadal-scale fluctuations of the self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index (scPDSI) over 1744–2006. The ring width chronology correlates at 0.58 (annual) and 0.88 (decadal) with regional-scale (48–50°N and 18–20°E) summer (June–August) scPDSI variations (1901–2002). Driest and wettest years common to the tree-ring and target data are 1947, 1948, 1964, and 1916, 1927, 1938, 1941, respectively. The model indicates decadal-scale drought ~1780–1810, 1850–1870, 1940–1960, and during the late twentieth century. The wettest period occurred ~1745–1775. Instrumental measurements and documentary evidence allow the reconstructed drought extremes to be verified and also provide additional insights on associated synoptic drivers and socioeconomic impacts. Comparison of anomalous dry conditions with European-scale fields of 500 hPa geopotential height retains positive pressure anomalies centered over Central Europe leading to atmospheric stability, subsidence and dry conditions. Negative mid-tropospheric geopotential height anomalies over Western Europe are connected with anomalous wet conditions over Slovakia. Nine existing, annually resolved hydro-climatic reconstructions from Central Europe, which were herein considered for comparison with the Slovakian findings, reveal significant high- to low-frequency coherency among the majority of records. Differences between the Slovakian and the other reconstructions are most evident at the end of the nineteenth century.

Keywords

Tree-ring width Documentary evidence Drought Synoptic pattern 

Abbreviations

CE

Coefficient of efficiency

CRU

Climatic Research Unit

DW

Durbin–Watson

EPS

Expressed Population Signal

GCM

Global circulation model

GISS

Goddard Institute for Space Studies

JJA

June–August

m asl

Meter above sea-level

MTM

Multi-Taper method

PDSI

Palmer drought severity index

r

Pearson’s correlation coefficient

Rbar

Inter-series correlation

RE

Reduction of error

scPDSI

Self-calibrated Palmer drought severity index

STDEV

Standard deviation

TRW

Tree-ring width

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Federal Research Institute WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of GeographyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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