Climate & Environment

Research: Europe experiences worst dry period in the last 2,100 years

Recent summers in Europe have been the driest in the past two millennia, according to a recent international study based on tree ring analysis. Using a specific method, the team led by Ulf Büntgen of the University of Cambridge succeeded in creating a massive dataset that traces hydroclimatic conditions in Central Europe from Roman times to the present.

For the work, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Büntgen and his colleagues from the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland took more than 27,000 measurements on tree rings from 147 oak trees, covering a period of 2,100 years (75 B.C. to 2018). The samples came from historic wells, buildings, and pile dwellings, as well as from archaeological remains and shore sediments, and also from living trees from what is now the Czech Republic and parts of southeastern Bavaria.

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