Publication details

Past locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands: do they indicate particular climatic patterns?

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Theoretical and Applied Climatology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Atmosphere sciences, meteorology
Keywords locust; outstanding locust outbreak; documentary evidence; chronology of locusts; weather; climate; Czech Lands
Description Outbreaks of locusts, probably Locusta migratoria, were once relatively frequent phenomena in Central Europe. Documentary evidence reaching back as far as the fourteenth century provides information about these events in the Czech Lands. The stages of morphological development of locusts are influenced by a number of natural conditions, including climate. The question remains as to the extent to which the occurrence of locusts may be attributed to particular weather/climatic patterns in a given year (period) in Central Europe. Available documentary sources recording locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands are presented. The chronology thus created shows their occurrence peaked in the seventeenth century, followed in severity by the eighteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some of the largest outbreaks recorded (1338, 1474–1475, 1542–1546, 1693, 1712 and 1748–1749) are analysed in detail. Seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns in Central Europe during the years in which the locust outbreaks took place show no particular climatic features compared with the years without them, with the exception of cooler and wetter springs and wetter summers.
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