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Temperature observations in Florence, Italy, after the end of the Medici Network (1654–1670): the Grifoni record (1751–1766)

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Abstract

This paper deals with the earliest meteorological observations in Florence after the Medici Network (1654–1670), i.e., from mid-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century, and puts them in the context of the history of meteorology in Florence. After the gap caused by the Inquisition, observations started again in the eighteenth century, made by Cipriano Antonino Targioni (1728–1748), Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti (1737–1740), Pietro Gaetano Grifoni (1751–1766), Leonardo Ximenes (1752), and Luca Martini (1756–1772). The first two records were lost, and this paper considers those by Grifoni and Ximenes. The latter is affected by severe bias; the former is of good quality and has been recovered and analyzed. Both the observers made only one reading a day and the metadata are scarce. The paper discusses several issues: the conversion from the apparent solar time to the Central Europe Time; the transformation from a single reading to a daily average; the identification of the thermometric liquid and the scale; the test made with the snow benchmark; the comparison with the contemporary series in Bologna. The comparison of the reconstructed series with other periods, i.e., 1654–1670, 1881–1910, 1961–1990, and 1991–2017, reveals that in mid-eighteenth century the temperature reached the lowest levels, especially in summer, and showed a sudden warming in the most recent decades.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to Dr. Alfonso Crisci (CNR IBIMET) for the precious support; the Ximenian Institute, Florence, for the 1993–2017 temperature data; and the Meteorological Service of the Italian Air Force for the 1961–1990 temperature data.

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Correspondence to Francesca Becherini.

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Camuffo, D., Becherini, F. & della Valle, A. Temperature observations in Florence, Italy, after the end of the Medici Network (1654–1670): the Grifoni record (1751–1766). Climatic Change 162, 943–963 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-020-02760-z

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