An Analysis of Drought Indicators for Detecting Dry Spells over Boreal Forest

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Yao Gao1,2, Tiina Markkanen2 and Tuula Aalto2, (1)University of Helsinki, Department of Atmosphere, Helsinki, Finland, (2)Finnish Meteorological Institute, Greenhouse Gas Group, Helsinki, Finland
Regional-scale impacts of drought on forest growth also take place in high-latitude boreal region, as in low- and middle-latitudes. A variety of drought indicators have been developed in the past, in order to quantify the duration and intensity of drought. The aims of this study are: 1) to investigate the relationships between various drought indicators and forest CO2 exchange in boreal area; 2) to evaluate the drought indicators based on modeled results from JSBACH land surface model through comparing to the observation based drought indicators, aiming to reliable future drought prediction. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) are calculated from both observational and modeled climate variables over 30 years (1981-2010). The soil moisture index (SMI) is also processed using available 5-layer soil moisture in JSBACH modeled results. Those indicators are developed for multiple time scales to capture the beginning and ending points when the forest in this boreal area responds to certain drought episodes. The different responses from coniferous, deciduous and mixed forest types to drought will also be studied.