Articles | Volume 16, issue 4
Clim. Past, 16, 1207–1222, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-1207-2020

Special issue: Droughts over centuries: what can documentary evidence tell...

Clim. Past, 16, 1207–1222, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-1207-2020

Research article 10 Jul 2020

Research article | 10 Jul 2020

Reconstructions of droughts in Germany since 1500 – combining hermeneutic information and instrumental records in historical and modern perspectives

Rüdiger Glaser and Michael Kahle

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Revised manuscript accepted for CP
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Cited articles

Bachmair, S., Svensson, C., Hannaford, J., Barker, L. J., and Stahl, K.: A quantitative analysis to objectively appraise drought indicators and model drought impacts, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2589–2609, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-2589-2016, 2016. 
Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN): 53 Tropentage im Sommer 1947: Seit 100 Jahren kein Sommer so heiß und trocken wie 1947, Edition from 4 October 1947, available at: https://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbz/periodical/pageview/4707190 (last access: 8 April 2019), 1947. 
Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN): Absinken der Grundwasserstände. Teilweise wurden die Tiefstände des Dürresommers 1947 übertroffen, Edition from 19 September 1949, available at: https://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbz/periodical/zoom/4711580 (last access: 8 April 2019), 1949. 
Barriendos, M., Ruiz-Bellet, J. L., Tuset, J., Mazón, J., Balasch, J. C., Pino, D., and Ayala, J. L.: The ”“Prediflood” database of historical floods in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula) AD 1035–2013, and its potential applications in flood analysis, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4807–4823, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-18-4807-2014, 2014. 
Benestad, R. E.: How often can we expect a record event?, Clim. Res., 25, 3–13, 2003. 
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A new study on droughts in Germany since 1500 reveals the long-term trend of single extreme events, as well as drier periods. Extreme droughts appeared in 1540, 1590, 1615, 1706, 1834, 1893, 1921, 1949 and 2018. Like today, droughts had manifold impacts such as harvest failures, water deficits, low water levels and forest fires. This had different societal consequences ranging from famine, disease, rising prices, migration and riots leading to subsidies and discussions on climate change.