Initial introduction


The Mediterranean Basin has been identified by general circulation models (GCMs) as regions of high sensitivity of climate to increasing greenhouse gases. Our research will and addresses the long-term climate variability of the Mediterranean Basin from a comparative analysis of climatic data, model simulations, and tree-ring data. A network of drought-sensitive tree-ring chronologies from the EM and NA will be analyzed for information on long-term climate variability, associated atmosphere-ocean anomalies, and the ability of GCMs to reproduce important drought-related features of regional climate. The work blends chronologies from the Mediterranean region to generate a Mediterranean Basin Drought Atlas (MBDA) that chronicles spatiotemporal drought variability over the past few centuries to millennium. Reconstructions will include seasonal precipitation and the Palmer Drought Severity Index. The reconstructions will be analyzed for the relationship of droughts and wet periods to atmospheric circulation and sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Drought patterns of the past and present will be placed in context of climate-change projections from GCMs.