21 Dec 2023
 | 21 Dec 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Text-mining uncovers the unique dynamics of socio-economic impacts during multi-year drought

Jan Sodoge, Christian Kuhlicke, Miguel D. Mahecha, and Mariana Madruga de Brito

Abstract. Droughts often lead to cross-sectoral and interconnected socio-economic impacts, affecting human well-being, ecosystems, and economic development. During extended drought periods, such as the 2018–2022 event in Germany, these impacts are amplified due to temporal carry-over effects. Yet, our understanding of drought impact dynamics during increasingly frequent multi-year drought periods is still in its infancy. In this study, we analyze the socio-economic impacts of the 2018–2022 multi-year drought in Germany and compare them to previous single-year events. Leveraging text-mining tools, we derive a dataset covering impacts reported by 260 newspapers on agriculture, forestry, livestock, waterways, aquaculture, fire, and social impacts spanning 2000 to 2022. We introduce the concept of drought impact profiles (DIPs) to describe spatio-temporal patterns of the reported co-occurrences of impacts. We employ a clustering algorithm to detect these DIPs and then use sequence mining, visualization techniques statistical tests to analyze spatio-temporal trends. Our results reveal that the 2018–2022 multi-year drought event had distinct impact patterns compared to prior single-year droughts regarding their spatial extent, impact diversity, and prevalent impact types. For the multi-year drought period, we identify shifts in how impacts have been perceived regionally, especially focusing on legacy and cascading effects on forestry and social activities. Also, we show how regional differences in relevant impacts are controlled by different land-cover types. Our findings enhance the understanding of the dynamic nature of drought impacts, highlighting the potential of text-mining techniques to study drought impact dynamics. The insights gained underscore the need for different strategies in managing multi-year droughts compared to single-year events.

Jan Sodoge, Christian Kuhlicke, Miguel D. Mahecha, and Mariana Madruga de Brito

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-228', Su Yun, 21 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jan Sodoge, 04 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-228', Kerstin Stahl, 29 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Jan Sodoge, 11 Feb 2024
Jan Sodoge, Christian Kuhlicke, Miguel D. Mahecha, and Mariana Madruga de Brito
Jan Sodoge, Christian Kuhlicke, Miguel D. Mahecha, and Mariana Madruga de Brito


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Short summary
We delved into the socio-economic impacts of the 2018–2022 drought in Germany. We derived a dataset covering the impacts of droughts in Germany between 2000 and 2022 on sectors such as agriculture and forestry based on newspaper articles. Notably, our study illustrated that the longer drought had a wider reach and more varied effects . We show that dealing with longer droughts requires different plans compared to shorter ones, and it's crucial to be ready for the challenges they bring.