136 research outputs found

    The frequency, intensity, and origin of floods in Poland in the 11th–15th centuries based on documentary evidence

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    Documentary evidence is increasingly being recognized as a precious source for assessing flood records. We have used this type of proxy data to identify the occurrence of floods in Poland from the 11th to the 15th centuries. In addition, we estimated the intensity of each flood event using the best-known classifications for Europe (Barriendos and Coeur, 2004; Br´azdil et al., 2006) and assessed their origin based on modified Lambor’s (1954) criteria. The database of floods in Poland contains 166 occurrences in the study period. Most occurred in the 15th century (61.4%). Of the studied regions, Silesia and the Baltic Coast and Pomerania regions were the two most affected by flood events, each accounting for 33–34% of instances. Based on the Br´azdil et al. (2006) classification, 77 of the recorded floods are above-average or supra-regional. Also, the indexation of floods based on Barriendos and Coeur (2004) demonstrated that 99 were extraordinary flood events. Rain and its subtypes were the leading causes of floods, with 79 records (47.6%). Flood occurrence in Poland exhibited good spatial coherency with neighboring countries. The updated and most complete inventory of floods in medieval Poland that we present here with a detailed analysis of their frequency, intensity and origin, improves the existing knowledge about this phenomenon in Central Europe. The results of this study, similarly to many other previous studies, also confirm the great capacity for documentary evidence to provide valuable and reliable information about flood records for the pre-instrumental period

    An assessment of flood occurrences in Poland in the 16th century

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    Study region The contemporary area of Poland comprises six main regions: Baltic Coast and Pomerania, Masuria-Podlasie, Greater Poland, Masovia, Silesia, Lesser Poland, and three main river basins, the Vistula, the Oder, and the Baltic Coast. Study focus To fill the knowledge gap for historical floods in Poland we used documentary evidence as reliable sources to assess historical floods in Poland during the 16th century. New hydrological insights for the region This research is one of the most novel and comprehensive studies of historical floods in Europe, spanning floods in Poland registered in the 16th century. Specifically, in addition to the list of flood occurrence records, we also provide detailed information about the historical sources used (including estimations of credibility), extracted weather notes, and indexation of flood intensity and origins. The results showed that, based on documentary evidence, 294 floods occurred in Poland in the study period. Most were recorded in the Silesia region (170 floods). The intensity of floods estimated based on the Brázdil et al. (2006b) and Barriendos and Coeur (2004) classifications indicated that most belong to “above-average or supra-regional flood” and “extraordinary” categories, respectively. Classifications of the origin of floods based on Lambor (1954) revealed that the main reason for flood occurrences in Poland during the 16th century was rain and its subtypes (torrential, frontal, and long-lasting, accounting for 53% of floods)

    Projection of climate change impacts on extreme temperature and precipitation in Central Poland

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    Abstract Climate change is exacerbating the risk of the occurrence of extreme weather. This study has projected the change in mean and extreme climate conditions in Central Poland during near-future (2026–2050), mid-term (2051–2075), and far-future (2076–2100) periods under two climate-change scenarios in six General Circulation Models (GCMs) from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). The results showed that, compared to the historical reference period (1990–2014), Central Poland will experience an increase in temperature and precipitation by the end of the twenty-first century. It is expected that the mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation totals will increase by 1–4.8 °C and 2–7.5%, respectively. Furthermore, it is projected that the average number of hot, very hot days and extremely hot days (Tmax > 25 °C, > 30 °C, and > 35 °C), tropical nights (Tmin > 20 °C), and extremely high daily precipitation (> 10 mm, > 20 mm and > 30 mm) will also increase, while the average number of slight frost days (Tmin < 0 °C), and frost and severe frost days (Tmax < 0 °C, Tmax <  − 10 °C) will decline on average by the end of the twenty-first century. Therefore, it is essential for policymakers to take some appropriate measurements and strategies in advance to strengthen resilience to extreme climate events

    Evaluation of the homogenization adjustments applied to European temperature records in the Global Historical Climatology Network dataset

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    The widely used Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) monthly temperature dataset is available in two formats—non-homogenized and homogenized. Since 2011, this homogenized dataset has been updated almost daily by applying the “Pairwise Homogenization Algorithm” (PHA) to the non-homogenized datasets. Previous studies found that the PHA can perform well at correcting synthetic time series when certain artificial biases are introduced. However, its performance with real world data has been less well studied. Therefore, the homogenized GHCN datasets (Version 3 and 4) were downloaded almost daily over a 10-year period (2011–2021) yielding 3689 different updates to the datasets. The different breakpoints identified were analyzed for a set of stations from 24 European countries for which station history metadata were available. A remarkable inconsistency in the identified breakpoints (and hence adjustments applied) was revealed. Of the adjustments applied for GHCN Version 4, 64% (61% for Version 3) were identified on less than 25% of runs, while only 16% of the adjustments (21% for Version 3) were identified consistently for more than 75% of the runs. The consistency of PHA adjustments improved when the breakpoints corresponded to documented station history metadata events. However, only 19% of the breakpoints (18% for Version 3) were associated with a documented event within 1 year, and 67% (69% for Version 3) were not associated with any documented event. Therefore, while the PHA remains a useful tool in the community’s homogenization toolbox, many of the PHA adjustments applied to the homogenized GHCN dataset may have been spurious. Using station metadata to assess the reliability of PHA adjustments might potentially help to identify some of these spurious adjustments

    Two warmings in the Arctic. What drives them?

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    Promo movie of Rajmund Przybylak’s project entitled “Causes of the early 20th century Arctic warming” funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (Grant No. 2015/19/B/ST10/02933), conducted at the Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń in the years 2016–22

    Statistical reconstruction of daily temperature and sea level pressure in Europe for the severe winter 1788/89

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    The winter 1788/89 was one of the coldest winters Europe had witnessed in the past 300 years. Fortunately, for historical climatologists, this extreme event occurred at a time when many stations across Europe, both private and as part of coordinated networks, were making quantitative observations of the weather. This means that several dozen early instrumental series are available to carry out an indepth study of this severe cold spell. While there have been attempts to present daily spatial information for this winter, there is more to be done to understand the weather variability and day-to-day processes that characterised this weather extreme. In this study, we seek to reconstruct daily spatial high-resolution temperature and sea level pressure fields of the winter 1788/89 in Europe from November through February. The reconstruction is performed with an analogue esampling method (ARM) that uses both historical instrumental data and a weather type classification. Analogue reconstructions are then post-processed through an ensemble Kalman fitting (EnKF) technique. Validation experiments show good skill for both reconstructed variables, which manage to capture the dynamics of the extreme in relation to the large-scale circulation. These results are promising for more such studies to be undertaken, focusing on different extreme events and other regions in Europe and perhaps even further back in time. The dataset presented in this study may be of sufficient quality to allow historians to better assess the environmental and social impacts of the harsh weather

    Investigating the Climate-Growth Response of Scots Pine (<i>Pinus sylvestris</i> L.) in Northern Poland

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    Research Highlights: This study used a 99-year time-series of daily climatic data to determine the climate-growth relationship for Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing in Northern Poland. The use of daily climatic data improved the calculated climatic response of the trees. Background and Objectives: It was hypothesised that daily temperature and precipitation data would more precisely identify climate–growth relationships than monthly data. We compared our results to a previous study conducted in the 1990s that utilised monthly precipitation and temperature data. Materials and Methods: The chronology construction and data analyses were performed using CooRecorder, CDendro and R packages (dplR, treeclim, dendrotools). Forty-nine cores from 31 trees were included in the final chronology. Results: The precipitation and temperature of March had the strongest influence upon ring-widths. Despite a statistically significant correlation between monthly temperature and ring-widths, reduction of error (RE) and coefficient of efficiency (CE) statistics confirmed that daily data better describe the effect of climate on tree rings width than monthly data. Conclusions: At this site, the growing season of Scots pine has changed with the observed association with precipitation now starting as early as February–March and extending to June–July

    Solar Radiation in the Arctic during the Early Twentieth-Century Warming (1921–50): Presenting a Compilation of Newly Available Data

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    The early twentieth-century warming (ETCW), defined as occurring within the period 1921–50, saw a clear increase in actinometric observations in the Arctic. Nevertheless, information on radiation balance and its components at that time is still very limited in availability, and therefore large discrepancies exist among estimates of total solar irradiance forcing. To eliminate these uncertainties, all available solar radiation data for the Arctic need to be collected and processed. Better knowledge about incoming solar radiation (direct, diffuse, and global) should allow for more reliable estimation of the magnitude of total solar irradiance forcing, which can help, in turn, to more precisely and correctly explain the reasons for the ETCW in the Arctic. The paper summarizes our research into the availability of solar radiation data for the Arctic. An important part of this work is its detailed inventory of data series (including metadata) for the period before the mid-twentieth century. Based on the most reliable data series, general solar conditions in the Arctic during the ETCW are described. The character of solar radiation changes between the ETCW and present times, in particular after 2000, is also analyzed. Average annual global solar radiation in the Russian Arctic during the ETCW was slightly greater than in the period 1964–90 (by about 1–2 W·m−2) and was markedly greater than in the period 2001–19 (by about 16 W·m−2). Our results also reveal that in the period 1920–2019 three phases of solar radiation changes can be distinguished: a brightening phase (1921–50), a stabilization phase (1951–93), and a dimming phase (after 2000)
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