Five centuries of Southern Moravian drought variations revealed from living and historic tree rings
- 223 Downloads
Past, present, and projected fluctuations of the hydrological cycle, associated to anthropogenic climate change, describe a pending challenge for natural ecosystems and human civilizations. Here, we compile and analyze long meteorological records from Brno, Czech Republic and nearby tree-ring measurements of living and historic firs from Southern Moravia. This unique paleoclimatic compilation together with innovative reconstruction methods and error estimates allows regional-scale May–June drought variability to be estimated back to ad 1500. Driest and wettest conditions occurred in 1653 and 1713, respectively. The ten wettest decades are evenly distributed throughout time, whereas the driest episodes occurred in the seventeenth century and from the 1840s onward. Discussion emphasizes agreement between the new reconstruction and documentary evidence, and stresses possible sources of reconstruction uncertainty including station inhomogeneity, limited frequency preservation, reduced climate sensitivity, and large-scale constraints.
KeywordsPalmer Drought Severity Index Negative Exponential Function Express Population Signal Vienna Basin Drought Variability
U. Büntgen was supported by the SNF project NCCR-climate (Extract) and the EC project MILLENNIUM (017008), R. Brázdil and P. Dobrovolný by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (P209/10/0309), and M. Trnka (521/08/1682). The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute is acknowledged for SO2 data of the two Brno stations, and two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments.
- Cook ER, Peters K (1981) The smoothing spline: a new approach to standardizing forest interior tree-ring width series for dendroclimatic studies. Tree-Ring Bull 41:45–53Google Scholar
- Dobrovolný P, Moberg A, Brázdil R, Pfister C, Glaser R, Wilson R, van Engelen A, Limanówka D, Kiss A, Halíčková M, Macková J, Riemann D, Luterbacher J, Böhm R (2010) Monthly and seasonal temperature reconstructions for Central Europe derived from documentary evidence and instrumental records since AD 1500. Clim Change 101:69–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Esper J, Cook ER, Krusic PJ, Peters K, Schweingruber FH (2003) Tests of the RCS method for preserving low-frequency variability in long tree-ring chronologies. Tree-Ring Res 59:81–98Google Scholar
- Esper J, Frank DC, Büntgen U, Verstege A, Luterbacher J, Xoplaki E (2007) Long-term drought severity variations in Morocco. Geophys Res Lett 34:doi: 10.1029/2007GL030844
- Frank D, Esper J, Cook ER, (2007b) Adjustment for proxy number and coherence in a large-scale temperature reconstruction. Geophys Res Lett 34:doi: 10.1029/2007GL030571
- Glaser R (2008) Klimageschichte Mitteleuropas. 1200 Jahre Wetter, Klima, Katastrophen. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, p 264Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p 996Google Scholar
- Mitchell TD, Carter TR, Jones PD, Hulme M, New M (2004) A comprehensive set of high-resolution grids of monthly climate for Europe and the globe: the observed record (1901–2000) and 16 scenarios (2001–2100). Technical Report Tyndall Working Paper 55. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UEA: NorwichGoogle Scholar
- Palmer WC (1965) Meteorological drought. Office of Climatology Research Paper no. 45, U.S. Weather Bureau. 58 ppGoogle Scholar
- van Bebber WJ (1881) Die geographische Vertheilung und Bewegung, das Entstehen und Verschwinden der barometrischen Minima in den Jahren 1876 bis 1880. Zeitschrift der österreichische Gesellschaft für Meteorologie 16:414–419Google Scholar
- Wales-Smith GB (1971) Monthly and annual totals of rainfall representative of Kew, Surrey, for 1697 to 1970. Meteorol Mag 100:345–362Google Scholar