Canadian Forest Service Publications

Trends and periodicities in the Canadian Drought Code and their relationships with atmospheric circulation for the southern Canadian boreal forest. 2004. Girardin, M.-P.; Tardif, J.; Flannigan, M.D.; Wotton, B.M.; Bergeron, Y. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34: 103-119.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25661

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free)

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Trends and periodicities in summer drought severity are investigated on a network of Canadian Drought Code (CDC) monthly average indices extending from central Quebec to western Manitoba and covering the instrumental period 1913–1998. The relationship and coherency between CDC indices and ocean–atmosphere circulation patterns are also examined. Trend analyses indicate that drought severity is unchanged in eastern and central Canada. Composite analyses indicate that for most of the corridor, severe drought seasons occur with a combination of positive 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies centered over the Gulf of Alaska and over the Baffin Bay. Additional severe drought seasons develop across the corridor in the presence of positive height anomalies located over or upstream of the affected regions. According to spectral analyses, the North Atlantic and the North Pacific circulation patterns modulate the drought variability at the decadal scale. Our results lead us to conclude that climate warming and the increases in the amount and frequency of precipitation in eastern Canada during the last century had no significant impact on summer drought severity. It is unlikely that linear climate change contributed to the change in the boreal forest dynamics observed over the past 150 years.