Publication details

Documentary evidence as a source of data for studying droughts in the Czech Lands

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Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Global Change: A Complex Challenge. Conference Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Atmosphere sciences, meteorology
Keywords drought; documentary data; precipitation indices; Czech Lands
Description Information about past droughts may be derived from the various kinds of documentary evidence. Documentary data are particularly applicable to the pre-instrumental period but may also be used for the overlapping period with instrumental records. They are extracted from written narrative sources, weather diaries, personal and official letters, newspapers, religious records, epigraphic sources, and other sources. Direct descriptions of weather facilitate identification of meteorological droughts, while descriptions of drought impacts are used to identify agricultural and hydrological droughts. Documentary evidence enabled the creation of series of precipitation indices which classify dry months on a scale of –1 (dry), –2 (very dry), and –3 (extremely dry). In this way, it is possible to study the frequency, seasonality, severity, and impacts of drought episodes in the pre-instrumental period.
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