Drought periods lasting over several years have been documented during the observational period and prominent examples are the “Dust Bowl” in the United States during 1930th or the Sahel drought from 1970 to 1990. In Europe, the Iberian Peninsula drought 2004/2005 (Figure 1), although shorter in duration, had serious consequences for agriculture, electricity production and water resources, as the water reservoirs could not recover for many consecutive years. Due to their severe socio-economic impacts extreme drought events are of major concern under changing climate conditions. The possibility to forecast droughts, its onset, duration and strength years in advance enables decision makers to initiate precautionary measures. e.
Drought events can be associated, at least partly, to atmospheric and oceanic variability of the climate system. Relations between, for example, El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), ocean sea surface temperatures or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and drought events have been detected (Hoerling and Kumar 2003, McCabe 2004, Schubert 2004).
The overall intention of DroughtCLip is to analyze the development of the predictive skill for multi-year droughts on decadal time scales, including the intermediate steps below: