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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 May 2018

Research article | 30 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Long-term variability of droughts in the Czech Lands and large-scale climate drivers

Jiří Mikšovský1,4, Rudolf Brázdil2,4, Miroslav Trnka3,4, and Petr Pišoft1 Jiří Mikšovský et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2Institute of Geography, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 3Institute of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Mendel University, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 4Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

Abstract. While a considerable number of records document the temporal variability of droughts for central Europe, understanding of its underlying causes remains limited. In this contribution, time series of three drought indices (SPI, SPEI, PDSI) that may be used to characterize the long-term drought regime of the Czech Lands are analyzed with regard to their mid-to-long-term variability and potential links to external and internal climate forcings over the 1501–2006 period. Employing instrumental and proxy-based data characterizing the external climate forcings (solar and volcanic activity, concentration of greenhouse gases) in parallel with series that correspond to the activity of climate variability modes with pronounced inter-annual to inter-decadal variability (El Niño–Southern Oscillation – ENSO, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation – AMO, Pacific Decadal Oscillation – PDO), regression and wavelet analysis were deployed to identify and quantify the temporal variability patterns of drought indices and similarity between individual signals. Aside from the long-term trend that correlates with anthropogenic radiative forcing, temperatures in the AMO and PDO regions were disclosed as one of the possible drivers of inter-decadal variability in the Czech drought regime. Colder and wetter episodes were found to coincide with increased volcanic activity, while no clear signature of solar activity was found. In addition to identification of the links themselves, their temporal stability and coherence were investigated. The oscillations at periods of approximately 60–100 years were found to be potentially relevant in establishing the teleconnections affecting the long-term variability of central European droughts.

Jiří Mikšovský et al.
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Jiří Mikšovský et al.
Jiří Mikšovský et al.
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Short summary
To investigate and attribute the mid-to-long-term variability observed in central European drought records, regression and wavelet analysis were applied to five centuries of data characterizing Czech climate and its potential large-scale drivers. Inter-decadal changes of temperature in the north Atlantic and north Pacific were identified as one of the potential sources of drought variations; transient colder and wetter episodes were linked to the effects of large volcanic eruptions.
To investigate and attribute the mid-to-long-term variability observed in central European...