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Back to droughts

10 Nov 2021 | Science Notes

From CO2Science: To provide a long-term perspective on the nature of recent droughts occurring on Vancouver Island, in the words of Coulthard and Smith (2016), they developed “a 477-year-long dendro-hydrological reconstruction of summer stream flow for the island’s Tsable River based on a network of annual tree-ring width data.” And what did this effort reveal?

Paper reviewed: Coulthard, B. and Smith, D.J. 2016. A 477-year dendro-hydrological assessment of drought severity for Tsable River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Hydrological Processes 30: 1676-1690.

The two Canadian researchers report that since AD 1520, fully “21 droughts occurred that were more extreme than recent ‘severe’ events like those in 2003 and 2009.” And in light of these findings, they conclude that “the fact that recent ‘extreme’ events fall within a natural range of multi-century variability means that rather than being considered anomalies, extreme droughts should be expected and incorporated into drought management strategies.”

Put another way, there would appear to be nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about Vancouver Island’s most recent string of extreme drought events. And, therefore, there should be no compelling reason for anyone to become overly concerned about a climatic phenomenon that has manifested itself multiple times over the past five centuries and that will probably continue to occur in like manner over the next five centuries.

One comment on “Back to droughts”

  1. There is another tree ring study done by the University of Victoria here on southern Vancouver Island.
    Different river system, different trees, same result. This study shows precipitation trends. Which I do believe also translate into drought and heat...
    Farmer_Lauren_MSc_2020.pdf - University of Victoriahttps://dspace.library.uvic.ca › bitstream › handlePDF
    by LK Farmer · 2020 — about historical summer precipitation trends within the Sooke Watershed – the primary ... 4.3.1 Tree-ring processing and chronology development .

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