Long term context for recent drought in northwestern Africa

Ramzi Touchan, Kevin J. Anchukaitis, David Meko, Said Attalah, Christopher Baisan, Ali Aloui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 adantica 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 and midlatitude conditions, as projected by general circulation models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL13705
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2008

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drought
temperate regions
Tunisia
Algeria
chronology
climate change
aridity
tree ring
Africa
general circulation model
signatures
rings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Long term context for recent drought in northwestern Africa. / Touchan, Ramzi; Anchukaitis, Kevin J.; Meko, David; Attalah, Said; Baisan, Christopher; Aloui, Ali.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 13, L13705, 16.07.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Touchan, Ramzi ; Anchukaitis, Kevin J. ; Meko, David ; Attalah, Said ; Baisan, Christopher ; Aloui, Ali. / Long term context for recent drought in northwestern Africa. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2008 ; Vol. 35, No. 13.
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