Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2177
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2177
11 Dec 2023
 | 11 Dec 2023

High-resolution reconstruction of drought episodes during the Dalton Solar Minimum (1790–1830) in the Spanish Mediterranean Basin

Josep Barriendos, María Hernández, Salvador Gil-Guirado, Jorge Olcina Cantos, and Mariano Barriendos

Abstract. Drought is a common climate risk in the Mediterranean region, but in connection to climate change, its frequency and severity are predicted to increase during the next century. In order to better manage future scenarios in which global warming will be superimposed to natural climate variability, the nature of droughts before industrial times should be analysed in depth. This approach takes into account a broader time scale to the study of severe droughts, allowing the identification of lower frequency droughts that happened before the instrumental period. The objective of this study is to analyse the occurrence and magnitude of the extreme droughts, with durations of more than a year, in Spain during the Dalton Solar Minimum period (1790–1830). To achieve this objective, the study takes into account the use of instrumental observations and information obtained from historical documentary sources from daily to monthly resolution. The results reveal that drought episodes were more frequent and severe during the Dalton Solar Minimum period than during the second half of the nineteenth century. Furthermore, drought episodes of similar severity were hardly seen throughout the twentieth century. Only in the current context of climate change, for the last two decades, a similar pattern of high drought severity has been identified that resembles the severity found during the Dalton Solar Minimum period (especially between 1812 and 1825). This study highlights the presence of a high variability in drought patterns during the last centuries, justifying more efforts of research on drought episodes at high temporal resolution for long time periods.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Josep Barriendos, María Hernández, Salvador Gil-Guirado, Jorge Olcina Cantos, and Mariano Barriendos

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #3, 23 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC3', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2177', Anonymous Referee #3, 23 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC3', Josep Barriendos, 02 Mar 2024
Josep Barriendos, María Hernández, Salvador Gil-Guirado, Jorge Olcina Cantos, and Mariano Barriendos
Josep Barriendos, María Hernández, Salvador Gil-Guirado, Jorge Olcina Cantos, and Mariano Barriendos

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Short summary
An analysis of severe droughts in the Mediterranean region is justified by the uncertainty produced by climate change in this type of natural hazard, which clearly has implications on water resources. The study of severe episodes from historical documentary sources and old instrumental records makes it possible to identify very severe episodes such as the megadrought of 1812–1825. This knowledge allows better management of water resources in similar situations that may occur in future scenarios.