Wintertime European circulation patterns during the Late Maunder Minimum cooling period (1675–1704)
- Cite this article as:
- Wanner, H., Pfister, C., Brázdil, R. et al. Theor Appl Climatol (1995) 51: 167. doi:10.1007/BF00867443
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The North Atlantic and Western Europe regions comprise a key area to study climate variations in the form of cold relapses which may be a possible manifestation of reduced ocean circulation. By using multi-proxy data of the late Maunder Minimum period, temperature and precipitation distribution during winter was studied in connection with atmospheric circulation, with the goal of obtaining an insight into the feedbacks between ocean, sea ice and temperature. The study shows that the Late Maunder Minimum was a relatively cool and dry period with low ocean temperatures and a large sea ice extent, although Alpine glaciers did not grow during this time. A comparison of the winter weather types of the three decades from 1675 to 1704 with the recent 30 year period (1961–1990) shows that the late Maunder Minimum was characterized by strong sea level pressure reversals with high pressure centres over Northern or Northwestern Europe and large outbreaks of northeasterly cold continental air.