Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The year-long unprecedented European heat and drought of 1540-a worst case
Show others and affiliations
2014 (English)In: Climatic Change, ISSN 0165-0009, E-ISSN 1573-1480, Vol. 125, no 3-4, 349-363 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The heat waves of 2003 in Western Europe and 2010 in Russia, commonly labelled as rare climatic anomalies outside of previous experience, are often taken as harbingers of more frequent extremes in the global warming-influenced future. However, a recent reconstruction of spring-summer temperatures for WE resulted in the likelihood of significantly higher temperatures in 1540. In order to check the plausibility of this result we investigated the severity of the 1540 drought by putting forward the argument of the known soil desiccation-temperature feedback. Based on more than 300 first-hand documentary weather report sources originating from an area of 2 to 3 million km(2), we show that Europe was affected by an unprecedented 11-month-long Megadrought. The estimated number of precipitation days and precipitation amount for Central and Western Europe in 1540 is significantly lower than the 100-year minima of the instrumental measurement period for spring, summer and autumn. This result is supported by independent documentary evidence about extremely low river flows and Europe-wide wild-, forest- and settlement fires. We found that an event of this severity cannot be simulated by state-of-the-art climate models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 125, no 3-4, 349-363 p.
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107019DOI: 10.1007/s10584-014-1184-2ISI: 000339970700005OAI: diva2:743787


Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-02 Last updated: 2014-09-05Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Retsö, DagSöderberg, Johan
By organisation
Department of Economic History
In the same journal
Climatic Change
Economic History

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 42 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link