Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and Its Social Dimension

  • Christian Pfister
  • Rudolf Brázdil
  • Rüdiger Glaser

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-2
  2. Guest Editorial

    1. Christian Pfister, Rudolf Brázdil, Rüdiger Glaser
      Pages 3-4
  3. Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis

  4. The Evidence

    1. Christian Pfister, Rudolf Brázdil, Rüdiger Glaser, Mariano Barriendos, Dario Camuffo, Mathias Deutsch et al.
      Pages 55-110
    2. Christian Pfister, Rudolf Brázdil, Rüdiger Glaser, Anita Bokwa, Franz Holawe, Danuta Limanowka et al.
      Pages 111-150
    3. K. R. Briffa, P. D. Jones, R. B. Vogel, F. H. Schweingruber, M. G. L. Baillie, S. G. Shiyatov et al.
      Pages 151-168
  5. Reconstructions of Climate

    1. Rüdiger Glaser, Rudolf Brázdil, Christian Pfister, Petr Dobrovolný, Mariano Barriendos Vallvé, Anita Bokwa et al.
      Pages 169-200
    2. Jucundus Jacobeit, Heinz Wanner, Gerhard Koslowski, Martin Gudd
      Pages 201-221
  6. Impacts and Perception

About this book


A multidecadal cooling is known to have occurred in Europe in the final decades of the sixteenth-century. It is still open to debate as to what might have caused the underlying shifts in atmospheric circulation and how these changes affected societies. This book is the fruit of interdisciplinary cooperation among 37 scientists including climatologists, hydrologists, glaciologists, dendroclimatologists, and economic and cultural historians. The known documentary climatic evidence from six European countries is compared to results of tree-ring studies. Seasonal temperature and precipitation are estimated from this data and monthly mean surface pressure patterns in the European area are reconstructed for outstanding anomalies. Results are compared to fluctuations of Alpine glaciers and to changes in the frequency of severe floods and coastal storms. Moreover, the impact of climate change on grain prices and wine production is assessed. Finally, it is convincingly argued that witches at that time were burnt as scapegoats for climatic change.


Atmospheric circulation ITC Precipitation Storm Storm surge Tide Weather climate change temperature

Editors and affiliations

  • Christian Pfister
    • 1
  • Rudolf Brázdil
    • 2
  • Rüdiger Glaser
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of HistoryUniversity of BerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of GeographyMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of GeographyUniversity of WürzburgGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5306-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9259-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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