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Climatic Change

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 223–247 | Cite as

The climate of crete in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

  • Jean M. Grove
  • Annalisa Conterio
Article

Abstract

The climatic history of the eastern Mediterranean has been neglected; that of Crete is selected for initial investigation. The principal characteristics of twentieth century climate are surveyed. The most important documentary sources for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are introduced, their potentialities discussed and examples of documentary evidence given. Detailed consideration is given to the period 1548 to 1648, and its main climatic features tabulated. In some years, and groups of years, weather conditions occurred which were apparently anomalous by twentieth century standards, especially winter and spring droughts, exceptionally severe winters, and summer rain. Specific cases are discussed. Some winter droughts were longer-lasting and more extreme than any since instrumental measurements began. These could affect wide regions and are taken to have been caused by the extension of southerly air masses from the Sahara. The incidence of severe winters leads to consideration of evidence for snowfall having been heavier and longer lasting than in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Deluges seem to have been similar in intensity to twentieth century storm events, but some may have been more extreme and extended more widely. Records of summer rains were found to be rare compared with those of winter drought and severe winters. The period under review was one in which northern and central Europe experienced individual years and clusters of years in which weather conditions departed strongly from twentieth century means. It is surmised that climatic anomalies, which did not necessarily occur simultaneously in the eastern and western Mediterranean, were associated with low index situations, that is with weak circumpolar westerlies, and with blocking highs further north in Europe, causing diversion of depression tracks.

Keywords

Twentieth Century Century Storm Event Seventeenth Century Century Climate Climatic History 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean M. Grove
    • 1
  • Annalisa Conterio
    • 2
  1. 1.Girton CollegeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.PadovaItaly

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