Universität Leipzig startet Projekt zur Wendezeit von Mittelalterlicher Wärmeperiode zu Kleiner Eiszeit

Im März 2017 startet an der Universiät Leipzig ein spannendes neues Projekt. Juniorprofessor Martin Bauch gründet am Geisteswissenschaftlichen Zentrum für Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas (GWZO) eine Arbeitsgruppe, die sich mit abrupten natürlichen Klimaveränderungen im späten Mittelalter in Europa befasst. Gefördert werden die Studien über die Volkswagenstiftung. Bauch, der derzeit noch am Deutschen historischen Institut in Rom tätig ist, kündigte das Projekt am 27. August 2016 im Blog historicalclimatology.com an:

The “Dantean Anomaly” Project: Tracking Rapid Climate Change in Late Medieval Europe

In the last years of his life, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was an unsuspecting witness to a rapid shift in climatic conditions that led to cooler and wetter weather all over the continent. Perhaps it was not by chance that in his Inferno, finished in 1314, the sinners guilty of gluttony and sent to the third circle of hell were punished by incessant cold rain, hail and snow, while squirming through foul-smelling mud that reminded contemporaries of the crops rotting on their fields. Across Europe, meteorological events in the 1310s caused harvest failures, floods, famines, and mass deaths. In particular, Dante’s description of the wet third ring of hell is very similar to weather conditions that caused famine in Italy between 1310-12, and offers a prominent clue the onset of the Little Ice Age left in Europe’s cultural heritage.

Other traces of the cold, wet years appear in variety of sources: inscriptions from Central Europe which recall the thousands of starved individuals buried outside the city walls, and countless chronicles reporting death, famine, corpses on the streets, and riots linked to rising food prices. The hostile weather and massive soil erosion can also be reconstructed using scientific methods: ice cores from Alpine glaciers, sediment cores from lakes, and tree rings all reveal the rainy years that oaks all over Europe enjoyed, as these trees thrive on chilly and humid weather. Using these tools, scientists and climate historians have come to agree that climatic conditions changed seriously at the beginning of the 14th century, ending the presumed milder conditions of the so-called Medieval Climatic Anomaly and initiating the so-called Little Ice Age. When referring to the extreme wet and cool conditions in Northwestern Europe that were responsible for the Great Famine (1315-21), written sources and dendrochronological data agree that the 1310s were a decade of climatic stress. The damage of this decade, called the Dantean Anomaly by, was long thought to be restricted to the British Isles, Northern France, the Benelux countries and Northern Germany. But as not only the Inferno’s vision of hell indicates, the cool period was probably a trans-continental event.

A new junior research group at headed by Dr. Martin Bauch, funded by a VW Freigeist Fellowship and based the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (Leipzig), seeks to understand the social, economic, and cultural impact of the Dantean Anomaly across Europe. The “Dantean” project will compare three geographically and climatically different regions neglected by research thus far: the Mediterranean regions around the Italian cities of Siena and Bologna; the continental climate region of the Holy Roman Empire from east of the Rhine to Poland, Moravia and Austria; and the rural plains and mountains of the Atlantic maritime climate in Southeast France, around Bresse, Pays de Gex and Savoy. These case studies differ not only climatically but by source bases, which range from urban administrative reports in Italy to the charters in the Holy Roman Empire to rural accounts and records in France. In some cases, inscriptions on buildings and archeology give further information. Narrative sources – the classical data base for climate historians so far –are abundantly available across all three regions, and provide broad chronological background for the years 1240-1360. Since a reconstruction of climatic conditions should not be limited to data from written sources, the project will be enhanced by scientific research that provides information on meteorological conditions in a high temporal resolution (dendrochronology; ice core research; warve chronologies; geomorphology). With the cooperation of several scientific partners, the project will provide the first integrated and reliable study of climatic conditions in the 1310s in large parts of continental Europe.

Weiterlesen auf historicalclimatology.com

Im Prinzip geht es um das Ende der Mittelalterlichen Wärmeoperiode und den Umschwung zur Kleinen Eiszeit. Hier benötigt Bausch auf jeden Fall eine verlässliche regionale paläoklimatologische Datenbasis. Im Rahmen unseres Kartierprojektes zur Mittelalterlichen Wärmeperiode haben wir schon mal etwas vorgearbeitet. Auf der MWP-Onlinekarte sind die relevanten Studien zusammenfassend aufbereitet. Wir wünschen dem neuen Projekt zur “Dante-Klima-Anomalie” guten Erfolg.

Kleiner Statusbericht für alle Förderer des Pojektes: Die Datenerfassung für die Kontinente Europa, Afrika, Australien/Ozeanien und Antarktis ist komplett abgeschlossen. Vor wenigen Tagen wurde zudem Grönland fertig. Der regionale Schwerpunkt liegt nun auf Kanada und Alaska, wo bereits mehr als die Hälfte der Studien ausgewertet und in die Karte integriert wurde.