North American Climate History (1500–1800)

  • Sam White


This chapter outlines the available sources and studies for the climate history of North America c.1500–1800. Although most US and Canadian climate history for the period has relied on evidence from the archives of nature, Spanish, French, and English colonial records provide an expanding source base for historical climatology. Early instrumental records, phenological observations, newspapers, almanacs, and weather diaries become particularly important for studying climate and weather reconstruction and impacts around the mid-1700s. The chapter concludes with a review of three important episodes in North American climate history: Europe’s first colonial expeditions to North America, the “Late Maunder Minimum” of the 1680s–1690s, and the US War of Independence of the 1770s–1780s.



The author would like to thank Vicky Slonosky for her comments and for sharing material. Any errors are entirely my own.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sam White
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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