Latest Research on Climatology : Apr 2022

A drought climatology for Europe

We present a high spatial resolution, multi-temporal climatology for the incidence of 20th century European drought. The climatology provides, for a given location or region, the time series of drought strength, the number, the mean duration, and the maximum duration of droughts of a given intensity, and the trend in drought incidence. The drought climatology is based on monthly standardized precipitation indices (SPIs) calculated on a 0.5° grid over the European region 35–70 °N and 35 °E–10 °W at time scales of 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months for the period 1901–99. The standardized property facilitates the quantitative comparison of drought incidence at different locations and over different time scales. The standardization procedure (probability transformation) has been tested rigorously assuming normal, log–normal, and gamma statistics for precipitation. Near equivalence is demonstrated between the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) and SPIs on time scales of 9 to 12 months. The mean number and duration by grid cell of extreme European drought events (SPI ≤ −2) on a time scale of 12 months is 6 ± 2 months and 27 ± 8 months respectively. The mean maximum drought duration is 48 ± 17 months. Trends in SPI and PDSI values indicate that the proportion of Europe experiencing extreme and/or moderate drought conditions has changed insignificantly during the 20th century. We hope the climatology will provide a useful resource for assessing both the regional vulnerability to drought and the seasonal predictability of the phenomenon. Copyright © 2002 Royal Meteorological Society.[1]

An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Temperature Database

The Global Historical Climatology Network version 2 temperature database was released in May 1997. This century-scale dataset consists of monthly surface observations from ~7000 stations from around the world. This archive breaks considerable new ground in the field of global climate databases. The enhancements include 1) data for additional stations to improve regional-scale analyses, particularly in previously data-sparse areas; 2) the addition of maximum–minimum temperature data to provide climate information not available in mean temperature data alone; 3) detailed assessments of data quality to increase the confidence in research results; 4) rigorous and objective homogeneity adjustments to decrease the effect of nonclimatic factors on the time series; 5) detailed metadata (e.g., population, vegetation, topography) that allow more detailed analyses to be conducted; and 6) an infrastructure for updating the archive at regular intervals so that current climatic conditions can constantly be put into historical perspective. This paper describes these enhancements in detail.[2]

An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily Database

A database is described that has been designed to fulfill the need for daily climate data over global land areas. The dataset, known as Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)-Daily, was developed for a wide variety of potential applications, including climate analysis and monitoring studies that require data at a daily time resolution (e.g., assessments of the frequency of heavy rainfall, heat wave duration, etc.). The dataset contains records from over 80 000 stations in 180 countries and territories, and its processing system produces the official archive for U.S. daily data. Variables commonly include maximum and minimum temperature, total daily precipitation, snowfall, and snow depth; however, about two-thirds of the stations report precipitation only. [3]

Applied climatology: an introduction.

A simple introduction to world climatology, including short chapters on climate in relation to soils, vegetation, agriculture, forestry and hydrology. [4]

Historical Climatology In Europe – The State Of The Art

This paper discusses the state of European research in historical climatology. This field of science and an overview of its development are described in detail. Special attention is given to the documentary evidence used for data sources, including its drawbacks and advantages. Further, methods and significant results of historical-climatological research, mainly achieved since 1990, are presented. The main focus concentrates on data, methods, definitions of the “Medieval Warm Period” and the “Little Ice Age”, synoptic interpretation of past climates, climatic anomalies and natural disasters, and the vulnerability of economies and societies to climate as well as images and social representations of past weather and climate. The potential of historical climatology for climate modelling research is discussed briefly. Research perspectives in historical climatology are formulated with reference to data, methods, interdisciplinarity and impacts.[5]


[1] Lloyd‐Hughes, B. and Saunders, M.A., 2002. A drought climatology for Europe. International Journal of Climatology: A Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 22(13), pp.1571-1592.

[2] Peterson, T.C. and Vose, R.S., 1997. An overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature database. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78(12), pp.2837-2850.

[3] Menne, M.J., Durre, I., Vose, R.S., Gleason, B.E. and Houston, T.G., 2012. An overview of the global historical climatology network-daily database. Journal of atmospheric and oceanic technology, 29(7), pp.897-910.

[4] Griffiths, J.F., 1966. Applied climatology: an introduction. Applied climatology: an introduction.

[5] Brázdil, R., Pfister, C., Wanner, H., Storch, H.V. and Luterbacher, J., 2005. Historical climatology in Europe–the state of the art. Climatic change, 70(3), pp.363-430.

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