by R. Pileke Jr, Aug 16, 2022 in ClimateChangeDispatch
Europe is in the midst of what has been called the worst drought in 500 years. According to a drought expert with the European Commission in comments last week [bold, links added]:
“We haven’t analysed fully the event (this year’s drought), because it is still ongoing, but based on my experience I think that this is perhaps even more extreme than 2018. Just to give you an idea the 2018 drought was so extreme that, looking back at least the last 500 years, there were no other events similar to the drought of 2018, but this year I think it is really worse than 2018.”
While a full analysis of the ongoing 2022 European drought remains to be completed, so too the drought itself, which is clearly exceptional if not unprecedented. In this post, I take a close look at the state of understanding of the possible role of climate change in this year’s drought.
Specifically, I report on what the most recent assessment report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and underlying literature and data say about the detection of trends in Western and Central European drought and the attribution of those trends to greenhouse gas emissions.
The figure below shows the specific region that is the focus of this post, which includes all of Germany, most of France, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, and western Russia among other nations. …