The authors used global climate change computer models to predict how the frequency of two-year droughts may change in the coming decades and whether greenhouse gas emissions may have an effect.
The frequency of record-breaking two-year droughts, such as the 2018-2019 Central European drought, is expected to rise by the end of the century if projected greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
A German-Czech team of scientists led by the UFZ examined the impact of the 2018-2019 Central European drought using long-term global climate data from 1766 to 2019. They found that the summers in both 2018 and 2019 were drier than average, and were two out of three of the warmest summer periods ever recorded. More than 50% of the Central European region suffered severe drought conditions, making it the largest scale and most impactful two-year drought on record. The second most impactful drought recorded lasted from 1949-1950, but affected a 33% smaller area.
“It is important that we recognize the importance of these persevering consecutive year events and develop a holistic framework for modeling the risk,” Dr. Rohini Kumar emphasizes the relevance of the study.
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