European Middle Ages

  • Christian Rohr
  • Chantal Camenisch
  • Kathleen Pribyl


This chapter introduces the state of the field in the historical climatology of the Middle Ages in Europe. This region and era witnessed significant human historical changes, as well as climatic phases identified as the Medieval Warm Period and the beginnings of the Little Ice Age. Starting with the work of Hubert H. Lamb and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie in the 1960s, the field has seen a continual extension and refinement of research. Historical climatologists of medieval Europe have drawn on both narrative and administrative sources, which have provided both qualitative weather descriptions and information on climate proxies. Use of these sources poses particular methodological challenges, but historical climatologists have developed seasonal temperature and precipitation indices and long phenological records covering parts of medieval Europe.



We thank Gerrit J. Schenk (Technical University of Darmstadt) for important information concerning literature on medieval climate reconstruction and climate impacts.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Rohr
    • 1
  • Chantal Camenisch
    • 1
  • Kathleen Pribyl
    • 2
  1. 1.Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Institute of HistoryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Climatic Research UnitUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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