Imagine the hysteria we would see from the establishment if the following happened today. Our modern technical life probably would get banned by hysterical politicians and environmentalists. Just how bad that summer was is described here in detail. More below:
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Temperature measurements as a rule go back one or two hundred years. Thus beyond the thermometer age, one has to work with so-called proxies. In the Czech epublic one team of scientists led by Martin Možný reconstructed the temperature history of the country using the historical data on grape harvests going back 500 years. (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Temperature of the Czech Republic over the past 500 years. From Možný et al. 2016. The blue curve since 1800 AD represents thermometer data.
The harvest time turned out to be a reliable indicator of the April to August temperature. As expected, the warmest 30-year interval occurred from 1986-2015. Interestingly, however, 1540 was identified as the hottest of the last 500 years and was part of an above average period in the 16th century.
What follows is the Abstract of the Paper in the journal Climate of the Past:
April–August temperatures in the Czech Lands, 1499–2015, reconstructed from grape-harvest dates
Viticulture has long been essential to the commercial and social well-being of parts of the Czech Lands (now the Czech Republic), and detailed records have been kept for centuries of the timing and relative success of the grape crop. Using such documentary data from the Bohemian wine-growing region (mainly northwest of the capital, Prague), series of grape-harvest dates (GHDs) were created for the 1499–2015 period. Because the link between harvest dates and temperatures is strong, GHD series, together with instrumental mean temperature series starting in 1801, were used to reconstruct mean April–August temperatures for the region from 1499 to 2015. Linear regression (LR) and variance scaling (VS) methods were used for calibration and compared in terms of explained variance and their ability to capture extreme values. It emerged that LR does not significantly underestimate temperature variability. However, VS shows far greater capacity to capture extremes. GHDs explain 64 % of temperature variability over the full calibration period. The 1986–2015 period was identified as the warmest 30-year period of the past 514 years, an observation consistent with recent global warming. The highest April–August temperatures appeared in a reconstruction for the year 1540, which was warmer than the next two very warm, and far more recent, seasons in 2003 and 2015. The coldest period occurred at the beginning of the 20th century (1900–1929). The series reconstructed for the Czech Lands is in close agreement with other (central) European reconstructions based on other proxies. The series created here makes an important contribution to a better understanding of long-term spatiotemporal temperature variability in central Europe.
It can be observed that the study’s period of investigation did not reach into the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). I t would have been interesting to have compared the the current warm period with the MWP. In general the data in the Czech Republic for the MWP is extremely scant.
Within the scope of the MWP charting project, not a single study has been found to date for this time period. Looking across regions, a warm MWP is highly likely when we look at the studies from neighboring countries (red points). From a hydro-climatological view, the Czech Republic borders on the humid northern European MWP (green points ) and the southern European dry MWP (yellow points).