Early Modern Europe

  • Christian Pfister
  • Rudolf Brázdil
  • Jürg Luterbacher
  • Astrid E. J. Ogilvie
  • Sam White


The most intensive research in historical climatology has concentrated on Europe in the early modern period (c.1500–1800), and established many of the methods and procedures that have become standard in this discipline. This chapter reviews the source material, methodology, and results of climate reconstructions from the archives of societies for each region of Europe during this period, which overlaps with the Little Ice Age (LIA). These reconstructions demonstrate that the LIA was by no means uniformly cold across the continent. Nevertheless, during these centuries Europe experienced numerous decades of frequent and severe temperature and precipitation anomalies, with significant human impacts.



R. Brázdil acknowledges the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), grant no. LO1415.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Pfister
    • 1
  • Rudolf Brázdil
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jürg Luterbacher
    • 4
  • Astrid E. J. Ogilvie
    • 5
    • 6
  • Sam White
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute of History, Oeschger Centre for Climate ChangeBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Geography, Masaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of SciencesBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Geography, Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Centre of International Development and Environmental ResearchJustus Liebig UniversityGiessenGermany
  5. 5.Stefansson Arctic InstituteAkureyriIceland
  6. 6.Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  7. 7.Department of HistoryOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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