LTRR researchers mapping the history of Medirerranean drought

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kevin Anchukaitis, Ramzi Touchan and David Meko from the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research are co-authors on a paper with the son-and-father collaboration Benjamin and Edward Cook that maps the history of drought in the Mediterranean over the last 900 years using climate data reconstructed from tree-ring chronologies. Statistical techniques combine the data from trees growing at different locations to estimate the severity of drought at all points on a map, even for points where no trees can grow. Although these estimates involve several steps of inference, the techniques also indicate how trustworthy the reconstructed drought is at each point. The researchers have identified consistent patterns of drought over large areas, and have found thtat the present drought in the Levant is more severe than anything in the past 900 years.