Skip to main content

Tree-rings and people – different views on the 1540 Megadrought. Reply to Büntgen et al. 2015

The Original Article was published on 09 May 2015

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Trnka M, Kotyza O, Řezníčková L, Valášek H, Zahradníček P, Štěpánek P (2013) Droughts in the Czech lands, 1090–2012 AD. Clim Past 9:1985–2002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Brázdil R, Trnka M, Mikšovský J, Řezníčková L, Dobrovolný P (2014) Spring-summer droughts in the Czech Land in 1805–2012 and their forcings. Int J Climatol. doi:10.1002/joc.4065

    Google Scholar 

  3. Büntgen U, Brázdil R, Frank D, Esper J (2010) Three centuries of Slovakian drought dynamics. Clim Dyn 35(2):315–329. doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0563-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Büntgen U, Brázdil R, Dobrovolný P, Trnka M, Kyncl T (2011a) Five centuries of Southern Moravian drought variations revealed from living and historic tree rings. Theor Appl Climatol 105(1–2):167–180. doi:10.1007/s00704-010-0373-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Büntgen U, Brázdil R, Heussner KU, Hoffmann J, Kontic R, Kyncl T, Pfister C, Chromá K, Tegel W (2011b) Combined dendro-documentary evidence of central European hydroclimatic springtime extremes over the last millennium. Quat Sci Rev 30:3947–3959

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 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, seasonal and annual temperature reconstructions for central Europe derived from documentary evidence and instrumental records since AD1500. Clim Chang 101:69–107

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Dobrovolný P, Rybníček M, Kolář T, Brázdil, R., Trnka, M., Büntgen, U. (2014) A tree-ring perspective on the frequency and intensity of hydroclimate spring-summer extremes in the Czech Republic and the last 1250 years. Manuscript

  8. Dobrovolný P, Brázdil R, Trnka M, Kotyza O, Valášek H (2015) Precipitation reconstruction for the Czech Lands, AD 1501–2010. Int J of Climatol. doi:10.1002/joc.3957

    Google Scholar 

  9. Frank D, Büntgen U, Böhm R, Maugeri M, Esper J (2007) Warmer early instrumental measurements versus colder reconstructed temperatures: shooting at a moving target. Quat Sci Rev 26:3298–3310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde (2006) Niedrigwasserperiode 2003 in Deutschland. Ursachen – Wirkungen – Folgen. Mitteilungen 27, Koblenz

  11. Glaser R, Riemann D, Schönbein J, Barriendos M, Brazdil R, Bertoli C, Camuffo D, Deutsch M, Dobrovolny P, van Engelen A, Enzi S, Halickova C, König S, König O, Limanowka D, Mackova J, Sghedoni M, Martin B, Himmelsbach I (2010) The variability of European floods since AD 1500 Climatic Change 101: 235–256.

  12. IPCC SMP-1 (2014) IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Climatic Change 2014. Approved Summary for Policymakers.

  13. Jolly WM, Dobbertin M, Zimmermann ME, Reichstein M (2005) Divergent vegetation growth responses to the 2003 heat wave in the Swiss Alps. Geophys Res Lett 32:L18409. doi:10.1029/2005GL023252

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Lloyd-Hughes B (2013) The impracticality of a universal drought definition. Theor Appl Climatol. doi:10.1007/s00704-013-1025-7

    Google Scholar 

  15. Müller B, Seneviratne SI (2012) Hot days induced by precipitation deficits at the global scale. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(31):12398–12403. doi:10.1073/pnas.1204330109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Nicault A, Alleaume Brewer S, Carrer M, Nola P, Guiot J (2008) Mediterranean drought fluctuation during the last 500 years based on tree-ring data. Clim Dyn 31:227–245. doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0349-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Pfister C, (1999) Wetternachhersage. 500 Jahre Klimavariationen und Naturkatastrophen 1496–1995. Bern.

  18. Rohr C (2007) Extreme Naturereignisse im Ostalpenraum. Naturerfahrung im Spätmittelalter und am Beginn der Neuzeit. Köln (Böhlau). 640 + 16 pp.

  19. Seneviratne SI, Corti T, Davin EL, Hirschi M, Jaeger EB, Lehner I, Orlowsky B, Teuling AJ (2010) Investigating soil moisture-climate interactions in a changing climate: a review. Earth Sci Rev 99(3–4):125–161. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2010.02.004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Seneviratne SI, Nicholls D, Easterling CM, Goodess S, Kanae J, Kossin Y, Luo J, Marengo K, McInnes M, Rahimi M, Reichstein A, Sorteberg, Vera C, Zhang X (2012) Changes in climate extremes and their impacts on the natural physical environment, in: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation [Field CB, V Barros, TF Stocker, D Qin, DJ Dokken, KL Ebi, MD Mastrandrea, KJ Mach, GK Plattner, SK Allen, M Tignor and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 109–230

  21. Wetter O, Pfister C (2013) An underestimated record breaking event – why summer 1540 was likely warmer than 2003. Clim Past 9:41–59

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Wetter O, Pfister C, Werner JP, Zorita E, Wagner S, Seneviratne SI, Herget J, Grünewald U, Luterbacher J, Alcoforado MJ, Barriendos M, Bieber U, Brázdil R, Burmeister KH, Camenisch C, Contino A, Dobrovolný P, Glaser R, Himmelsbach I, Kiss A, Kotyza O, Labbé T, Limanówka D, Litzenburger L, Nordli Ø, Pribyl K, Retsö D, Riemann D, Rohr C, Siegfried W, Söderberg J, Spring JL (2014) The year-long unprecedented European heat and drought of 1540 – a worst case. Clim Chang. doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1184-2

    Google Scholar 

Download references


due to Victoria Slonosky for style corrections and to the Oeschger Centre for Climatic Change Research at the University of Bern for providing a workplace and logistic support.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Oliver Wetter.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Pfister, C., Wetter, O., Brázdil, R. et al. Tree-rings and people – different views on the 1540 Megadrought. Reply to Büntgen et al. 2015. Climatic Change 131, 191–198 (2015).

Download citation


  • Standardize Precipitation Index
  • Tree Ring Width
  • Extreme Heat
  • Standardize Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index
  • Vosges Mountain