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Keywords:

  • temperature reconstruction;
  • 1000 years;
  • historical sources;
  • Central Europe;
  • monthly resolution

Abstract

This paper presents a temperature reconstruction of the past 1000 years for Central Europe, based on chronological records. The advantages and limitations of this hermeneutic, text-based approach are discussed and the statistic methodology is introduced. Historical documents represent direct observation of weather and atmospheric conditions with highest temporal resolution available and precise dating. A major advantage of these extensive data is that they allow the reconstruction of large numbers of variables such as winter temperature, precipitation, pressure patterns or climate extremes as well as floods or storms. Within this hermeneutic climatological research approach, even human impacts and social dimensions of climate development can be examined. In order to quantify the historical information, statistical methods are applied, based on an index approach. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.