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Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Chroma K.,Masaryk University | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives | Dolak L.,Masaryk University
Climate of the Past | Year: 2012

Historical written records associated with tax relief at ten estates located in south-eastern Moravia (Czech Republic) are used for the study of hydrometeorological extremes and their impacts during the period 1751-1900 AD. At the time, the taxation system in Moravia allowed farmers to request tax relief if their crop yields had been negatively affected by hydrological and meteorological extremes. The documentation involved contains information about the type of extreme event and the date of its occurrence, while the impact on crops may often be derived. A total of 175 extreme events resulting in some kind of damage are documented for 1751-1900, with the highest concentration between 1811 and 1860 (74.9% of all events analysed). The nature of events leading to damage (of a possible 272 types) include hailstorm (25.7%), torrential rain (21.7%), flood (21.0%), followed by thunderstorm, flash flood, late frost and windstorm. The four most outstanding events, affecting the highest number of settlements, were thunderstorms with hailstorms (25 June 1825, 20 May 1847 and 29 June 1890) and flooding of the River Morava (mid-June 1847). Hydrometeorological extremes in the 1816-1855 period are compared with those occurring during the recent 1961-2000 period. The results obtained are inevitably influenced by uncertainties related to taxation records, such as their temporal and spatial incompleteness, the limits of the period of outside agricultural work (i.e. mainly May-August) and the purpose for which they were originally collected (primarily tax alleviation, i.e. information about hydrometeorological extremes was of secondary importance). Taxation records constitute an important source of data for historical climatology and historical hydrology and have a great potential for use in many European countries. © 2012 Author(s). Source


Dolak L.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives
Hydrological Sciences Journal | Year: 2013

This paper addresses the hydrological and meteorological extremes that may be deduced from the taxation records of the estates of Brtnice, Třebíč and Velké Meziříčí, all in the Moravian-Bohemian Highlands of the Czech Republic, for the years 1706-1849. At that time, damage to agricultural crops constituted grounds for tax remission for individual farmers and landowners. Where it survives, the relevant administrative documentation generally includes a statement from the applicant, a report by the official commission tasked with checking the contents of it, and any decisions made by taxation authorities at regional and "land" level (the Jihlava regional office and the Moravian Land Administration ("Gubernium") respectively). Data extracted may include the type of event, dating, places of occurrence and damage done. The chronology of hydrological and meteorological extremes (torrential rain, flash flood, flood, hailstorm, lightning, frost) covers the period 1706-1849, but only four events are evident before 1748 and there is a gap in records between 1757 and 1789. Extremes are analysed from a spatio-temporal point of view. A total of 97 extreme events (171 extremes of particular type) were identified for the region studied. Torrential rain, hailstorm and flash flood were the major devastating phenomena, and occurred mainly from May to August. Torrential rain and hailstorm are clearly attributable to thunderstorms with very intense convection. Five outstanding events and their impacts upon individual farmers are described in detail. The results are discussed with respect to uncertainties in the basic data and in the context of the Czech Lands, because only some of the extremes disclosed are known and confirmed by other documentary data. © 2013 IAHS Press. Source


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Reznickova L.,Masaryk University | Reznickova L.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 3 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2014

Outbreaks of locusts, probably Locusta migratoria, were once relatively frequent phenomena in Central Europe. Documentary evidence reaching back as far as the fourteenth century provides information about these events in the Czech Lands. The stages of morphological development of locusts are influenced by a number of natural conditions, including climate. The question remains as to the extent to which the occurrence of locusts may be attributed to particular weather/climatic patterns in a given year (period) in Central Europe. Available documentary sources recording locust outbreaks in the Czech Lands are presented. The chronology thus created shows their occurrence peaked in the seventeenth century, followed in severity by the eighteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some of the largest outbreaks recorded (1338, 1474-1475, 1542-1546, 1693, 1712 and 1748-1749) are analysed in detail. Seasonal temperature and precipitation patterns in Central Europe during the years in which the locust outbreaks took place show no particular climatic features compared with the years without them, with the exception of cooler and wetter springs and wetter summers. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien. Source


Dobrovolny P.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Kotyza O.,Regional Museum | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives
Geografie-Sbornik CGS | Year: 2010

Extremely cold/mild winters (DJF) and extremely cold/warm summers (JJA) in the Czech Lands were derived from series of temperature indices based on documentary evidence (1500-1854) and from series of air temperatures measured at the Prague-Klementinum station (1771-2007) over the past 500 years. Altogether 24 cold winters, 23 mild winters, 18 cold summers and 21 warm summers emerged. Czech extremes were compared with the Central European temperature series and series of documentary-based temperature indices for the Low Countries, Germany and Switzerland. Analysis of composite sea level pressure fields confirms advection of cold air from the north-west (extremely cold summers) or from the east (extremely cold winters). Mild winters are related to warm airflow from the west or south-west and extremely warm summers to the influence of high pressure related to the Azores High. Spatial correlations of extremes for winters proved better than for summers. We demonstrate that documentary evidence explains temperature variability for winter better than it does for the other seasons. © 2010 The Author. Source


Brazdil R.,Masaryk University | Brazdil R.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Chroma K.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Valasek H.,Moravian Land Archives | And 4 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Climatology | Year: 2014

Hailstorms are among the hydrometeorological extremes recognised in the historical past of the Czech Lands as grounds for tax relief if agricultural crops or material structures were damaged by them. The administrative process involved three levels (community, regional office, land office). The damage reports and taxation records for South Moravia (the southeastern parts of today’s Czech Republic) were mainly stored in the Moravian Land Archives at Brno in estate accounts and collections of family archives. Data related to the date of a given hailstorm, its accompanying convective phenomena, the communities affected and the type of damage, as interpreted from taxation records, has created a database spanning the years 1650 to 1941 AD. A total of 766 records contain descriptions that cover 433 days upon which hailstorms did damage in South Moravia, as well as incidentally provide some additional information for the remainder of the Czech Lands and other parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The hailstorms detected concentrate to a large extent around the 1821–1850 period, which accounts for 44.4 % of all events. Although reported most frequently without other convective phenomena, they were often accompanied by torrential rain. The current contribution analyses the four most outstanding hailstorms in detail, those characterised by the highest number of estates and communities affected: 26 May 1830, 18 July 1832, 25 June 1844 and 20 June 1848. Uncertainties in hailstorm data, particularly with regard to their spatial and temporal heterogeneity, are discussed. Finally, the 1811–1850 period, with the highest number of hailstorm days, is compared with hailstorm patterns that derive from systematic meteorological observations in the 1961–2000 reference period. Damaging hailstorms disclosed by taxation data will be used to compile long-term hailstorm series for South Moravia (together with those derived from other documentary evidence and systematic meteorological observations). © 2014 Springer-Verlag Wien Source

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