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Droughts in Historical Times in Europe, as Derived from Documentary Evidence

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BRÁZDIL Rudolf KISS Andrea ŘEZNÍČKOVÁ Ladislava MARIANO Barriendos

Rok publikování 2020
Druh Kapitola v knize
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Popis Documentary evidence can provide high-resolution data pertaining to past droughts. This may include a wide range of sources, among them: narratives (annals, chronicles, memoirs); diaries kept by persons specifically interested in the weather; accountancy and economic-administrative archives; legal-administrative records; religious observances; letters; songs; newspapers and magazines; paintings and pictographic evidence; chronograms; epigraphic evidence; early instrumental meteorological observations; society and professional reports; and weather compilations. Most of these are generally available for many European countries. Such a variety of documentary information is sufficient to distinguish between the basic types of drought (meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic) and reconstruct hydroclimatic conditions in the form of series of precipitation totals, drought frequencies and drought indices. This paper presents a European overview of existing documentary-based drought studies for the Mediterranean, western, central and eastern areas of Europe. Examples of outstanding European droughts are drawn from events of 1361, 1616 and 1718–1719 CE. The descriptions of European droughts and of human responses to them, pay particular attention to impacts on society, to perceptions of drought and to spiritual and ritual responses, as well as to the institutional/legal-administrative decisions and changes droughts have brought about. Perspectives for future research into historical droughts in Europe are also presented.
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