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THE DANTEAN ANOMALY

Posted on: January 10, 2021

THIS POST IS A STUDY OF THE DANTEAN ANOMALY IN PALEO CLIMATOLOGY WHEREIN WE FIND THAT THE COOLING TRANSITION OF TEMPERATURES IN EUROPE FROM THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD TO THE LITTLE ICE AGE WAS INTERRUPTED BY A WARMING AND DROUGHT EVENT IN EUROPE CALLED THE DANTEAN ANOMALY.

THE SOURCES USED IN THIS STUDY ARE (1) THE DANTEAN ANOMALY PROJECT: LINK: https://dantean.hypotheses.org/ AND (2) THE CITATIONS FROM THE CURRENT LITERATURE ON THIS ISSUE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE LISTED BELOW.

PART-1: WHAT WE FIND IN THE DANTEAN ANOMALY PROJECT

The cold/wet anomaly of the 1310s (“Dantean Anomaly”) has attracted a lot of attention from scholars, as it is commonly interpreted as a signal of the transition between the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA). The huge variability that can be observed during this decade, like the high interannual variability observed in the 1340s, has been highlighted as a side effect of this rapid climatic transition. In this paper, we demonstrate that a multi-seasonal drought of almost 2 years occurred in the Mediterranean between 1302 and 1304, followed by a series of hot, dry summers north of the Alps from 1304 to 1306. We suggest that this outstanding dry anomaly, unique in the 13th and 14th centuries, together with cold anomalies of the 1310s and the 1340s, is part of the climatic shift from the MCA to the LIA. Our reconstruction of the predominant weather patterns of the first decade of the 14th century – based on both documentary and proxy data – identifies multiple European precipitation seesaw events between 1302 and 1307, with similarities to the seesaw conditions which prevailed over continental Europe in 2018. It can be debated to what extent the 1302–1307 period can be compared to what is currently discussed regarding the influence of the phenomenon of Arctic amplification on the increasing frequency of persistent stable weather patterns that have occurred since the late 1980s. Additionally, this paper deals with socioeconomic and cultural responses to drought risks in the Middle Ages as outlined in contemporary sources and provides evidence that there is a significant correlation between pronounced dry seasons and fires that devastated cities. CITATION: Bauch, M., Labbé, T., Engel, A., and Seifert, P.: A prequel to the Dantean Anomaly: the precipitation seesaw and droughts of 1302 to 1307 in Europe, Clim. Past, 16, 2343–2358, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-16-2343-2020 , 2020

PART-2: WHAT WE FIND IN THE CLIMATE OF THE PAST ARTICLE: LINK: https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/16/2343/2020/ ON THE THE 5-YEAR DROUGHT IN EUROPE 1302-1307 THAT CAME BEFORE THE DANTEAN ANOMALY

Martin Bauch1, Thomas Labbé1,3, Annabell Engel1, and Patric Seifert: 2Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany. : The cold/wet anomaly of the 1310s (“Dantean Anomaly”) has attracted a lot of attention from scholars, as it is commonly interpreted as a signal of the transition between the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA). The huge variability that can be observed during this decade, like the high interannual variability observed in the 1340s, has been highlighted as a side effect of this rapid climatic transition. In this paper, we demonstrate that a multi-seasonal drought of almost 2 years occurred in the Mediterranean between 1302 and 1304, followed by a series of hot, dry summers north of the Alps from 1304 to 1306. We suggest that this outstanding dry anomaly, unique in the 13th and 14th centuries, together with cold anomalies of the 1310s and the 1340s, is part of the climatic shift from the MCA to the LIA. Our reconstruction of the predominant weather patterns of the first decade of the 14th century – based on both documentary and proxy data – identifies multiple European precipitation seesaw events between 1302 and 1307, with similarities to the seesaw conditions which prevailed over continental Europe in 2018. It can be debated to what extent the 1302–1307 period can be compared to what is currently discussed regarding the influence of the phenomenon of Arctic amplification on the increasing frequency of persistent stable weather patterns that have occurred since the late 1980s. Additionally, this paper deals with socioeconomic and cultural responses to drought risks in the Middle Ages as outlined in contemporary sources and provides evidence that there is a significant correlation between pronounced dry seasons and fires that devastated cities.

MORE ON THE MEDIEVAL DROUGHT FROM “THE DROUGHT OF THE CENTURY” ARTICLE

The transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age was apparently accompanied by severe droughts between 1302 and 1307 in Europe; this preceded the wet and cold phase of the 1310s and the resulting great famine of 1315-21. In the journal Climate of the Past, researchers from the Leibniz Institutes for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) write that the 1302-07 weather patterns display similarities to the 2018 weather anomaly, in which continental Europe experienced exceptional heat and drought. Both the medieval and recent weather patterns resemble the stable weather patterns that have occurred more frequently since the 1980s due to the increased warming of the Arctic. According to the Leibniz researchers’ hypothesis based on their comparison of the 1302-07 and 2018 droughts, transitional phases in the climate are always characterized by periods of low variability, in which weather patterns remain stable for a long time. The published study presents preliminary findings of the Freigeist Junior Research Group on the Dantean Anomaly (1309-1321) at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO). Funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung, the group is investigating the rapid climate change in the early 14th century and its effects on late medieval Europe. The Great Famine (1315-1321) is considered the largest pan-European famine of the past millennium. It was followed a number of years later by the Black Death (1346-1353), the most devastating pandemic known, which wiped out about a third of the population. At least partially responsible for both of these crises was a phase of rapid climate change after 1310, called the ‘Dantean Anomaly’ after the contemporary Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri. The 1310s represent a transitional phase from the High Medieval Climate Anomaly, a period of relatively high temperatures, to the Little Ice Age, a long climatic period characterized by lower temperatures and advancing glaciers.

Drought of the century in the Middle Ages -- with parallels to climate change today?

PART-3: THE SOURCE PAPER FOR THE DANTEAN ANOMALY

Bauch, Martin, et al. “A prequel to the Dantean Anomaly: the precipitation seesaw and droughts of 1302 to 1307 in Europe.” Climate of the Past 16.6 (2020): 2343-2358. Abstract. The cold/wet anomaly of the 1310s (“Dantean Anomaly”) has attracted a lot of attention from scholars, as it is commonly interpreted as a signal of the transition between the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) and the Little Ice Age (LIA). The huge variability that can be observed during this decade, like the high interannual variability observed in the 1340s, has been highlighted as a side effect of this rapid climatic transition. In this paper, we demonstrate that a multiseasonal drought of almost 2 years occurred in the Mediterranean between 1302 and 1304, followed by a series of hot, dry summers north of the Alps from 1304 to 1306. We suggest that this outstanding dry anomaly, unique in the 13th and 14th centuries, together with cold anomalies of the 1310s and the 1340s, is part of the climatic shift from the MCA to the LIA. Our reconstruction of the predominant weather patterns of the first decade of the 14th century – based on both documentary and proxy data – identifies multiple European precipitation seesaw events between 1302 and 1307, with similarities to the seesaw conditions which prevailed over continental Europe in 2018. It can be debated to what extent the 1302–1307 period can be compared to what is currently discussed regarding the influence of the phenomenon of Arctic amplification on the increasing frequency of persistent stable weather patterns that have occurred since the late 1980s. Additionally, this paper deals with socioeconomic and cultural responses to drought risks in the Middle Ages as outlined in contemporary sources and provides evidence that there is a significant correlation between pronounced dry seasons and fires that devastated cities. 1 Introduction and state of the art In recent decades, scholars of medieval studies have produced considerable research reconstructing the Little Ice Age (LIA) (Pfister et al., 1996) and appraising the impacts of cold events on pre-modern societies; however, except for the notable exception of economic historians, few scholars have addressed the issue of droughts (Stone, 2014). Almost two decades ago, Brown (2001) has highlighted the so-called Dantean Anomaly as a wet and cold anomaly lasting from
1315 to 1321 that led to famine over northwestern Europe (Jordan, 1996). This climatic anomaly has been recently described more neutrally as “the 1310s event” (Slavin, 2018). A distinctive “1300 event” has been found in proxy data even around the Pacific rim (Nunn, 2007). Historians have consistently focused on the cold, wet character of this decade, seemingly fascinated by continuous rains and their often detrimental impacts on food security. A lot has been written, for example, about how excessive rain in 1315 and 1316
caused harvests to fail and ultimately resulted in a famine in northern Europe (Campbell, 2016; Jordan, 1996). However, as modern worries about global warming and the possibility of more frequent drought events like what occurred in 2003 have grown, dry periods have found more and more interest among climate historians (Brázdil et al., 2019; Brázdil et al., 2018; on the Middle Ages: Rohr et al., 2018). Most of this research, though, deals with the early modern period (Garnier, 2019; Munzar, 2004; Martín-Vide and
Barriendos Vallvé, 1995; Weikinn, 1965/66), especially with the “millennium drought” of 1540 (Pfister, 2018; Wetter and Pfister, 2013; Wetter et al., 2014). (NOTE: There are a few more papers in the literature on this issue but with the same authors with similar content.

Drought of the century in the Middle Ages -- with parallels to climate change today?

CONCLUSION: WE NOTE AS FOLLOWS: (1) ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION CITED ABOVE IN TURN CITE THE SAME SOURCE PAPER SHOWN ABOVE AS BAUCH ETAL. (2) THE DANTEAN ANOMALY CLIMATE EVENTS DESCRIBED IN THESE SOURCES ARE LOCALIZED TO EUROPE AND EVEN TO CERTAIN PARTS OF EUROPE. (3) THE 1302 TO 1307 DROUGHTS ARE DESCRIBED WITH A 5-YEAR TIME SCALE. (4) THE EXTREME TEMPERATURE EVENTS ARE DESCRIBED IN SHORTER TIME SCALES, AS SHORT AS DECADAL.

WE CONCLUDE FROM THESE DATA THAT THE TIME SCALE AND GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT OF THE DATA DO NOT HAVE A GLOBAL CLIMATE INTERPRETATION BECAUSE OF INTERNAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY DYNAMICS DESCRIBED IN A RELATED POST: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/ . AN ADDED CONSIDERATION IS THE CHAOTIC NATURE OF TEMPERATURE FLUCTUATIONS SEEN IN TRANSITIONS FROM ONE CLIMATE STATE TO ANOTHER. LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/25/youngerdryas/

Medieval demography - Wikipedia

THESE PALEO DATA DO NOT HAVE A GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE INTERPRETATION THAT WOULD IMPLY THAT YET ANOTHER HOLOCENE WARMING CYCLE HAD INTERCEDED BETWEEN THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD AND THE LITTLE ICE AGE. THE HOLOCENE TEMPERATURE CYCLES ARE DESCRIBED IN A RELATED POST: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/06/11/chaoticholocene/

THE INTERNAL VARIABILITY ISSUE | Thongchai Thailand
The Thames Frost Fairs in London

POSTSCRIPT: WITH THANKS TO ERIC WORRAL OF WUWT, THE MOST VIEWED SITE FOR GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE. IT WAS ERIC WORRAL THAT ALERTED US TO THIS ISSUE. LINK: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/09/claim-the-temperature-spike-just-prior-to-the-little-ice-age-can-teach-us-about-global-warming/

Eric Worrall (@worrall_eric) | Twitter

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