The summer of 2018 was characterized by high temperatures and low precipitation values in the Netherlands. The drought negatively impacted different sectors, resulting in an estimated damage of 450 to 2080 million Euros. Strong regional differences were observed in the precipitation shortfall across the country, with highest deficits in the southern and eastern regions. This raised two questions: (i) have increasing global temperatures contributed to changes in meteorological and agricultural droughts as severe or worse as in 2018? And (ii) are trends in these types of droughts different for coastal and inland regions? In this paper we show that there is no trend in summer drought (Apr-Sep) near the coast. However, a trend in agricultural drought is observed for the inland region where water supply is mainly dependent on local precipitation. This trend is driven by strong trends in temperature and global radiation rather than a trend in precipitation, resulting in an overall trend in potential evapotranspiration. Climate model analyses confirm that this trend in agricultural drought can at least in part be attributed to global climate change.
SY Philip, SF Kew, K van der Wiel, N Wanders, GJ van Oldenborgh. Regional differentiation in climate change induced drought trends in the Netherlands
Journal: Environmental Research Letters, Volume: 15, Year: 2020, First page: 094081, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab97ca