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Climatic variations in western Europe and China, AD 1645-1715: a preliminary continental-scale comparison of documentary evidence

Pfister, Christian, Yan, Zhongwei, Schüle, Hannes
TheHolocene 1994 v.4 no.2 pp. 206-211
dust, summer, wind, winter, China, England, Switzerland, Western European region
Instrumental and proxy data series from historical archives are compared over the period of the Maunder Minimum (AD 1645-1715) for western Europe (central England, Paris and Switzerland) and China. Winters became colder and drier over the late seventeenth century in western Europe. In China, however, winters were coldest around AD 1650 and became warmer and stormier over the subsequent decades. A significant warming of winters is observed around AD 1700, which, in Paris, corresponds to an increase in zonal wind frequency and a decrease in dust frequency in China. Summers during the late seventeenth century were rather dry in China and moderately wet in western Europe. These trends reversed around AD 1700, when summers became wetter in China and somewhat drier in western Europe. An approach to analysing seasonal anomalies is outlined based on a synoptic interpretation of historical weather charts derived from multi-proxy mapping.