Climatic Change

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 363–430 | Cite as

Historical Climatology In Europe – The State Of The Art

  • Rudolf BráZdil
  • Christian Pfister
  • Heinz Wanner
  • Hans Von Storch
  • JüRg Luterbacher
Article

Abstract

This paper discusses the state of European research in historical climatology. This field of science and an overview of its development are described in detail. Special attention is given to the documentary evidence used for data sources, including its drawbacks and advantages. Further, methods and significant results of historical-climatological research, mainly achieved since 1990, are presented. The main focus concentrates on data, methods, definitions of the “Medieval Warm Period” and the “Little Ice Age”, synoptic interpretation of past climates, climatic anomalies and natural disasters, and the vulnerability of economies and societies to climate as well as images and social representations of past weather and climate. The potential of historical climatology for climate modelling research is discussed briefly. Research perspectives in historical climatology are formulated with reference to data, methods, interdisciplinarity and impacts.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf BráZdil
    • 1
  • Christian Pfister
    • 2
  • Heinz Wanner
    • 3
  • Hans Von Storch
    • 4
  • JüRg Luterbacher
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyMasaryk UniversityThe Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of History/NCCR ClimateUniversity of BernSwitzerland
  3. 3.NCCR ClimateUniversity of BernSwitzerland
  4. 4.GKSS-Research-CenterGermany

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