Reconstructions of droughts in Germany since 1500 – combining hermeneutic information and instrumental records in historical and modern perspectives

Glaser, Rüdiger; Kahle, Michael

The present article deals with the reconstruction of drought time series in Germany since 1500. The reconstructions are based on historical records from the virtual research environment Tambora (tambora.org, 2018) and official instrumental records. The historical records and recent data were related to each other through modern index calculations, drought categories and their historical equivalents.

Historical and modern written documents are also taken into account to analyze the climatic effects and consequences on the environment and society. These pathways of effects are derived and combined with different drought categories.

The derived historical precipitation index (HPI) is correlated with the standardized precipitation index (SPI). Finally, a historical drought index (HDI) and a historical wet index (HWI) are derived from the basic monthly precipitation index (PI) from 1500 onward. Both are combined for the historical humidity index (HHI). On this basis, the long-term development of dryness and drought in Germany since 1500, as well as medium-term deviations of drier and wetter periods and individual extreme events, is presented and discussed.

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Glaser, Rüdiger / Kahle, Michael: Reconstructions of droughts in Germany since 1500 – combining hermeneutic information and instrumental records in historical and modern perspectives. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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