Long term context for recent drought in northwestern Africa

Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2008
Authors  Touchan, R.; Anchukaitis, K. J.; Meko, D. M.; Attalah, S.; Baisan, C.; Aloui, A.
Journal Title  Geophysical Research Letters
Volume  35
Issue  13
Pages  -
Journal Date  Jul 8
ISBN Number  0094-8276
Accession Number  ISI:000257738500005
Key Words  tree-rings; north-america; climate; dendroclimatology; reconstruction; index

Anthropogenic climate change is projected to exacerbate midlatitude aridity. Here, we analyze newly developed multi-century tree-ring records for a long-term perspective on drought in Tunisia and Algeria. We use a new set of 13 Cedrus atlantica and Pinus halepensis chronologies with a strong signal for warm-season drought (May-August) to generate a robust, well-validated reconstruction of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) for the period AD 1456-2002. Key features of the reconstruction reveal the magnitude of pre-instrumental droughts from the historic record. Remarkably, the most recent drought (1999-2002) appears to be the worst since at least the middle of the 15th century. This drought is consistent with the early signature of a transition to more arid midlatitude conditions, as projected by general circulation models.


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URL  <Go to ISI>://000257738500005
DOI  Doi 10.1029/2008gl034264