Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate. To place these and other “Old World” climate projections into historical perspective based on more complete estimates of natural hydroclimatic
variability, we have developed the “Old World Drought Atlas” (OWDA), a set of year-to-year maps of tree-ring reconstructed summer wetness and dryness over Europe and the Mediterranean Basin during the Common Era. The OWDA matches historical accounts of severe drought and wetness with a spatial completeness not previously available. In addition,megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th andmid-15th centuries
reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes. The OWDA provides new data for detailed data/model comparisons of the causes of Old World drought and wetness, with past climate variability attributed to both forced variability and internal variability.
ER Cook, R Seager, Y Kushnir, KR Briffa, U Buntgen, D Frank, PJ Krusic, W Tegel, G van der Schrier, et al.. Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era
published, Science, 2015