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European warm-season temperature and hydroclimate since 850 CE

Journal article
Authors F. C. Ljungqvist
A. Seim
P. J. Krusic
J. F. Gonzalez-Rouco
J. P. Werner
E. R. Cook
E. Zorita
J. Luterbacher
E. Xoplaki
G. Destouni
E. Garcia-Bustainante
C. A. M. Aguilar
Kristina Seftigen
J. L. Wang
M. H. Gagen
J. Esper
O. Solomina
D. Fleitmann
U. Buntgen
Published in Environmental Research Letters
Volume 14
Issue 8
ISSN 1748-9326
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Language en
Keywords climate variability, climate model simulations, gridded climate reconstructions, hydroclimate, Europe, past millennium, tree-ring data, tree-ring width, climate variability, last millennium, global drought, growth, model, simulations, responses, cmip5, reconstructions, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences, th r, 2018, nat commun, v9, hultz ja, 2015, sci rep-uk, v5, pe s, 2018, palgrave hdb climate, p37
Subject categories Environmental Sciences


The long-term relationship between temperature and hydroclimate has remained uncertain due to the short length of instrumental measurements and inconsistent results from climate model simulations. This lack of understanding is particularly critical with regard to projected drought and flood risks. Here we assess warm-season co-variability patterns between temperature and hydroclimate over Europe back to 850 CE using instrumental measurements, tree-ring based reconstructions, and climate model simulations. We find that the temperature-hydroclimate relationship in both the instrumental and reconstructed data turns more positive at lower frequencies, but less so in model simulations, with a dipole emerging between positive (warm and wet) and negative (warm and dry) associations in northern and southern Europe, respectively. Compared to instrumental data, models reveal a more negative co-variability across all timescales, while reconstructions exhibit a more positive co-variability. Despite the observed differences in the temperature-hydroclimate co-variability patterns in instrumental, reconstructed and model simulated data, we find that all data types share relatively similar phase-relationships between temperature and hydroclimate, indicating the common influence of external forcing. The co-variability between temperature and soil moisture in the model simulations is overestimated, implying a possible overestimation of temperature-driven future drought risks.

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