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RECONSTRUCTION OF PAST MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE IN THE HISTORIC PERIOD

Objective

TO ESTABLISH CHRONOLOGIES OF MOUNTAIN GLACIERS AS INDICATORS OF PAST CLIMATIC VARIATIONS.

CHANGES IN THE RECENT EXTEND OF PYRENEAN GLACIERS USING PRINTED SOURCES - DOCUMENTARY, PHOTOGRAPHIC AND OTHER ARCHIVAL MATERIAL FROM THE LAST TWO CENTURIES.WOULD BE TRACED RELEVANT MATERIAL IS KNOWN TO EXIST IN THE MUSEE PYRENEEN AT LOURDES.SEARCHES WILL ALSO BE MADE IN OTHER COLLECTIONS INCLUDING THAT OF THE ALPINE CLUB IN LONDON.IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO OBTAIN A LONGER RECORD BY DATING SOME OF THE POST-PLEISTOCENE MORAINE SEQUENCES KNOWN TO EXIST.THE MULTIPARAMETER APPROACHES PLANNED WILL INVOLVE C14 DATING OF ORGANIC MATERIAL FOUND IN CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH MORAINES AND IN ADDITION TREE RING DATING, LICHENOMETRY, ROCK WEATHERING INDICES AND STUDIES OF THE RATE OF PLANT AND SOIL COVER FORMATION.HELICOPTER ACCESS WILL BE NECESSARY FOR LIMITED PERIODS IN ORDER TO TRANSPORT HEAVY EQUIPMENT TO AND REMOVE SAMPLES FROM REMOTE SITES. IT IS INTENDED ALSO TO DATE FEATURES SUCH AS MAJOR ROCKFALLS INDICATIVE OF THE INCIDENCE OF PAST HAZARDS.IN VIEW OF THE AMOUNT OF LABORATORY ANALYSIS WHICH WILL FOLLOW THE FIELD WORK IT IS NOT CONSIDERED PRACTICABLE TO EXTEND MORAINE DATING TO THE ITALIAN GLACIERS.LOCAL ITALIAN ARCHIVES, SUCH AS THOSE IN AOSTA, WILL BE SEARCHED FOR DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF FORMER GLACIER EXTEND, AND THE INCIDENCE OF HAZARDS SUCH AS AVALANCHES AND ROCKFALLS. EARLY PRINTED ACCOUNTS WILL ALSO BE CONSULTED AND COLLECTIONS OF PHOTOGRAPHS AND PICTORIAL EVIDENCE ASSEMBLED. LOCAL ARCHIVES AND COLLECTIONS ARE NUMEROUS IN ITALY AND VERY FEW HAVE BEEN UTILISED IN PALEOCLIMATIC STUDIES. FOR THIS WORK IT WILL BE NECESSARY TO APPOINT A TEMPORARY GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT.MINOR FLUCTUATIONS OF CLIMATE MAY HAVE IMPORTANT HUMAN AND PHYSICAL CONSEQUENCES. CLUSTERS OF EXCEPTIONALLY COLD YEARS DURING THE LITTLE ICE AGE, SUCH AS THOSE WHICH OCCURED IN THE 1590'S AND 1690'S, CAUSED HARDSHIP AND EVEN FAMINE CONDITIONS IN UPLAND NORTH-WEST EUROPE. STUDIES OF BOTH DOCUMENTARY AND PRINTED SOURCES WILL BE MADE TO THROW LIGHT ON THE SEVERITY OF CONDITIONS IN LOWLAND AREAS OF NORTH-WEST EUROPE DURING THESE TWO DECADES AND TO DISCOVER THE EXTEND TO WHICH COMMUNITIES IN SOUTHERN EUROPE SUFFERED HARDSHIP IN THE SAME DECADES AS A RESULT OF CLIMATIC CONDITIONS SUCH AS COLD, DROUGHT OR EXCEPTIONAL PRECIPITATION.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Girton College
Address

CB Cambridge
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Italy
Address

Padoua
UNIVERSITAD DE GRANADA
UNIVERSITY OF IONNINA