Our new paper, titled “Observed drought indices show increasing divergence across Europe”, has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
This research shows that drought frequency measured by two widely used drought indices, the SPI and SPEI, have begun to deviate from one another throughout Europe. The onset and consistently increasing trend is a clear signal, not random noise, pointing towards climate change. Further, the spatial patterns resemble climate hcange projections for Europe, providing more confirmation. The divergence has been driven by increases in evapotranspiration, caused primarily by increases in temperature.
Our study adds support to the growing evidence that climate change effects are already being felt as changes in drought.
Drought monitors must take care when defining drought because different drought indices may drift in different ways in a non-stationary climate.