Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1029/2021EF002394
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) The 2018–20 multi-year drought sets a new benchmark in Europe
Author Rakovec, O. ORCID logo ; Samaniego, L. ORCID logo ; Hari, V.; Markonis, Y.; Moravec, V.; Thober, S.; Hanel, M.; Kumar, R. ORCID logo
Source Titel Earth's Future
Year 2022
Department CHS
Volume 10
Issue 3
Page From e2021EF002394
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords drought; soil moisture; Europe; climate projections; crop yield; CMIP5
Abstract During the period 2018–20, Europe experienced a series of hot and dry weather conditions with significant socioeconomic and environmental consequences. Yet, the extremity of these multi-year dry conditions is not recognized. Here, we provide a comprehensive spatio-temporal assessment of the drought hazard over Europe by benchmarking past exceptional events during the period from 1766–2020. We identified the 2018–20 drought event as a new benchmark having an unprecedented intensity that persisted for more than two years, exhibiting a mean areal coverage of 35.6% and an average duration of 12.2 months. What makes this event truly exceptional compared with past events is its near-surface air temperature anomaly reaching +2.8 K, which constitutes a further evidence that the ongoing global warming is exacerbating present drought events. Furthermore, future events based on climate model simulations (CMIP5) suggest that Europe should be prepared for events of comparable intensity as the 2018–20 event but with durations longer than any of those experienced in the last 250 years. Our study thus emphasizes the urgent need for adaption and mitigation strategies to cope with such multi-year drought events across Europe.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Rakovec, O., Samaniego, L., Hari, V., Markonis, Y., Moravec, V., Thober, S., Hanel, M., Kumar, R. (2022):
The 2018–20 multi-year drought sets a new benchmark in Europe
Earth Future 10 (3), e2021EF002394 10.1029/2021EF002394