OK, I confess, I’m clearly reading my abstract summaries this morning …
Briffa, van der Schrier and Jones: Wet and dry summers in Europe since 1750: evidence of increasing drought (International Journal of Climatology, 2009):
Moisture availability across Europe is calculated based on 22 stations that have long instrumental records for precipitation and temperature. The metric used is the self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index which is based on soil moisture content. This quantity is calculated using a simplified water budget model, forced by historic records of precipitation and temperature data, where the latter are used in a simple parameterization for potential evaporation.
The Kew record shows a significant clustering of dry summers in the most recent decade. When all the records are considered together, recent widespread drying is clearly apparent and highly significant in this long-term context. By substituting the 1961-1990 climatological monthly mean temperatures for the actual monthly means in the parameterization for potential evaporation, an estimate is made of the direct effect of temperature on drought. This analysis shows that a major influence on the trend toward drier summer conditions is the observed increase in temperatures. This effect is particularly strong in central Europe.