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Climatic fluctuations in southern Italy since the 17th century: reconstruction with precipitation records at Benevento

, : Climatic fluctuations in southern Italy since the 17th century: reconstruction with precipitation records at Benevento. Climatic Change 80(3-4): 411-431

This work analyses the climatic information of 607 weather anomalies belonging to a large documentary sources heritage of the continental southern Italy during the period 1675-1868. The collected information, mainly originating in Samnium River Region (SRR), were codified to obtain quantitative indices representative of a preliminary reconstruction of the precipitation anomalies. Historical written records of weather conditions that affect agriculture and living conditions have been taken as a proxy for instrumental observations of the relative wetness and dryness. As a consequence a numerical index was established to characterize the rainfall regime and its evolution. So, for the first time a series of the precipitation anomalies in SRR-continental southern Italy during the second half of the Little Ice Age was generated, and subsequently jointed to the instrumental series (1869-2002). Afterwards, in order to identify possible climatic change situations from 1675 today Normalized Cumulative Anomalies (NCA)-serie's and Climograms were produced. This historical period offered a sufficient range of natural variability in climate and circulation together with their relationships. Wettest period were detected in the 19th century, while that driest in the 18th century. However, the Mediterranean climate appearing from our study is far more complex than can be captured by a simple classification. In this way, the final picture is one switching between significantly different climate modes becoming apparent on several space-time-scales during the Late Little Ice Age.


DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9119-1

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