Unlocking weather observations from the Societas Meteorologica Palatina (1781-1792)

Pappert, Duncan; Brugnara, Yuri; Jourdain, Sylvie; Pospieszyńska, Aleksandra; Przybylak, Rajmund; Rohr, Christian; Brönnimann, Stefan (2021). Unlocking weather observations from the Societas Meteorologica Palatina (1781-1792). Climate of the past, 17(6), pp. 2361-2379. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/cp-17-2361-2021

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In recent years, instrumental observations have become increasingly important in climate research, allowing past daily-to-decadal climate variability and weather extremes to be explored in greater detail. The 18th century saw the formation of several short-lived meteorological networks of which the one organised by the Societas Meteorologica Palatina is arguably the most well known. This network stood out as one of the few that efficiently managed to control its members, integrating, refining, and publishing measurements taken from numerous stations around Europe and beyond. Although much has been written about the network in both history, science, and individual prominent series used for climatological studies, the actual measurements have not yet been digitised and published in extenso. This paper represents an important step towards filling this perceived gap in research. Here, we provide an inventory listing the availability of observed variables for the 37 stations that belonged to the society’s network and discuss their historical context. Most of these observations have been digitised, and a considerable fraction has been converted and formatted. In this paper, we focus on the temperature and pressure measurements, which have been corrected and homogenised. We then demonstrate their potential for climate research by analysing two cases of extreme weather. The recovered series will have wide applications and could contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind climatic variations and extremes as well as the societal reactions to adverse weather. Even the shorter series could be ingested into reanalyses and improve the quality of large-scale reconstructions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Climatology
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Pappert, Duncan Heinrich Hall; Brugnara, Yuri; Rohr, Christian and Brönnimann, Stefan

Subjects:

900 History
900 History > 910 Geography & travel
900 History > 940 History of Europe

ISSN:

1814-9324

Publisher:

Copernicus Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christian Rohr

Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2021 09:16

Last Modified:

23 Nov 2021 09:16

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/cp-17-2361-2021

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/161237

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/161237

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