Articles | Volume 20, issue 3
Research article
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18 Mar 2024
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 18 Mar 2024

A past and present perspective on the European summer vapor pressure deficit

Viorica Nagavciuc, Simon L. L. Michel, Daniel F. Balting, Gerhard Helle, Mandy Freund, Gerhard H. Schleser, David N. Steger, Gerrit Lohmann, and Monica Ionita


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This paper presents the first gridded reconstruction of the summer (June, July, and August) vapor pressure deficit (VPD) for the past four centuries at the European level. The reconstruction shows that from the mid-1700s, a trend towards higher summer VPD occurred in Central Europe and the Mediterranean region, a trend that has continued through the observational period. The reconstruction is based on 26 European tree-ring oxygen isotope records .
Short summary
The main aim of this paper is to present the summer vapor pressure deficit (VPD) reconstruction dataset for the last 400 years over Europe based on δ18O records by using a random forest approach. We provide both a spatial and a temporal long-term perspective on the past summer VPD and new insights into the relationship between summer VPD and large-scale atmospheric circulation. This is the first gridded reconstruction of the European summer VPD over the past 400 years.