European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017

Four members of the CEH team attended and presented Historic Droughts research at the European Geophysical Union’s General Assembly in Vienna on the 23rd-28th April 2017.  Over 14,000 scientists attended the conference from over 100 countries, representing all aspects of geophysical sciences. 

Simon Parry’s oral presentation New insights on historic droughts in the UK: Analysis of 200 river flow reconstructions for 1890-2015 in the ‘Hydrological Extremes: from floods to droughts’ session was highlighted as of special interest. Simon presented on a range of work being done at CEH in Historic Droughts using the streamflow reconstructions for near-natural benchmark catchments back to the 1880s. Including, event characteristics (duration, severity and termination characteristics) extracted from the river flow reconstructions, rankings of these events (by various drought characteristics) and trends in drought termination characteristics throughout the time series.

Katie Smith presented a poster Characterising droughts from an ensemble of hydrological models in the same session which started to explore the uncertainty of the reconstructions by comparing the extracted drought events from observed series to those from the reconstruction ensemble for three example catchments. 

In the ‘Drought and water scarcity: monitoring, modelling and forecasting to improve hydro-meteorological risk management’ session, Lucy Barker presented a poster Understanding drought propagation in the UK in the context of climatology and catchment properties. Lucy used observed data from catchment-borehole pairs across four major aquifers in the UK to calculate drought indicators to extract meteorological (precipitation) and hydrological (streamflow and groundwater) and used different techniques to investigate the lag in drought occurrence.

Cecilia Svensson also presented a poster in this session Spatial coherence and large scale drivers of drought. Cecilia’s poster investigated the lagged and concurrent relationships between UK regional streamflows and oceanic and atmospheric drivers in three UK regions throughout the year. Several indices of northern hemisphere airflow patterns were found to have significant concurrent relationships for some parts of the year and significant relationships with oceanic and atmospheric indices representing the El Niño/Southern Oscillation were found for both concurrent and lagged analyses.

Read more about EGU 2017