Temperatures from 1000 AD till today

Temperatures from 1000 AD till today

From 1000 to 1900 ... from the Middle Ages to the modern era ... from the ideal climate to frost

The first centuries of the second millennium coincide with the last of the Middle Ages, which represented from the climatic point of view the most favorable period of the last millennia due to the mild climate that allowed the cultivation in northern Europe of plants, such as vines and wheat, until then. unknown and the northward expansion of forests where the glaciers had dominated.

The temperature gradually rose until it exceeded the value of the current average temperature at our latitudes by more than one degree, while in northern Europe it was also 3-4 degrees, and then dropped by more than one degree until 1750.

As clearly indicated by the Trend Line, the temperature during the second millennium has gradually decreased so as to constitute in the second half a phase of intense cold called Little Ice Age.

Four centuries of mild temperatures: from 1000 to 1400

The effects of the warming of the temperature in the first centuries find their maximum expression in the northern regions of Europe, in particular in the Scandinavian countries, Ireland, England, Russia, etc., so as to melt the glaciers of Greenland (Green Earth) and of the Iceland and thus allow the colonization by the Vikings of those lands that have become fertile to allow agriculture and livestock farming.

At the same time the northern seas became navigable for the small and fragile boats of the time, so much so as to allow the Vikings to go to distant lands as far as North America.

The first expeditions began in the year 1000 and lasted until the beginning of the 1100s, but they were probably unable to establish permanent colonies due to the hostility of the local populations (Indians or Eskimos?).

The territories they explored began from Baffin Land to Labrador, going even further south, perhaps as far as Newfoundland. They encountered lands covered with extensive forests and, which impressed them, an abundance of vineyards so much that they called the region the Land of Wine.

The establishment of favorable conditions allowed the cultivation of vines and wheat and the extension of forests, not only in more northern latitudes but at higher altitudes. Remarkable was the retreat of the glacier front and the raising of the altitude limit of snowfall, while in the plains and along the coasts, due to the increase in rainfall, many lands were invaded by water, making vast territories unhealthy.

Five centuries of freezing temperatures: from 1400 to 1900

With the end of the 1400s the temperature suddenly returned to lower values, so much so as to allow the glaciers to regain the lands from which they had been expelled a few centuries earlier, so as to cover North America and northern Europe. By the middle of the century, all the inhabitants of Greenland had disappeared, a notable decrease in population throughout Europe and the abandonment of agriculture in the northern latitudes and at higher altitudes. At the same time the northern forests and many villages were destroyed by the advance of the glaciers.

Periods of severe frost alternated with other milder ones, but overall, phases of strong drops in temperature characterized this century and part of the next, so much so that there were historical frosts of the Baltic, the Thames, the great rivers of Europe, even the Po and the Venice Lagoon froze several times.

In the oceans the Icebergs reappeared again, at lower and lower latitudes, hindering the navigation of fragile ships, which in previous years had allowed the discovery of new lands and the emigration of populations towards more welcoming climates.

In many regions agriculture was abandoned and consequently there were great famines and epidemics with decimation of the populations, especially in the Scandinavian countries where the inhabitants were reduced by two thirds. Almost all the Alpine Valleys were abandoned by the populations, forced to emigrate to the South until the end of the 1800s.

From the mid 1500s to the mid 1800s the average drop in temperature, even if it was only 1 ° C compared to today's average temperature (T.M.O.), constituted the coldest period after the Quaternary glaciation, so much so that it was called the Little Glaciation. There were very long winters of up to 6 months, with uninterrupted snowfalls of 2-3 months. Memorable was 1816, defined as the year without summer, during which in some regions of Canada the thermometer rose just above 0 ° C in the month of June. It is generally believed that the causes of so much frost in that year was the great eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia, which occurred the previous year, whose ashes spread over much of the northern hemisphere, filtering and absorbing solar radiation. .

Towards the end of the 1800s less frosty years alternated with milder periods, as a foreshadowing of the end of the Little Glaciation to move on to a period of rising temperature that lasted throughout 1900, as we will see shortly on Elicriso.

How did the men who for so many centuries experienced the cold of the second millennium interpret the Little Ice Age?

Today the mass media are silent in the case of temperature drops, as they are only intent on capturing the slightest increase in temperature, ready to invoke the greenhouse effect due to pollution as the main cause. But at that time the only possible cause was believed to be able to identify it in the deforestation of the territory to create space for cultivation and there was no shortage of authoritative personalities, even among scientists, to formulate catastrophic short-term forecasts if they had insisted on deforestation (at that time the cleared areas were in infinitesimal quantities compared to what was done in the following centuries). Forecasts as usual punctually denied in subsequent years. Even in those days, clichés were formulated such as: «Has it never been as cold as this year? Don't you remember in living memory? Are there no more half seasons? " expressions that can be obtained from texts by writers or scientists of the time, which today are dusted off perhaps with the support of more or less reliable meteorological data.

It was necessary to arrive at 1824 to have the first scientific interpretation of climatic phenomena with the physicist Jean Baptiste Fourier, who understood the importance ofGREENHOUSE EFFECT as the main regulator of climatic variations, understood as a natural phenomenon and indispensable to guarantee the environmental conditions that allow life on Earth and not something artificial created by the behavior of man with his activities, as most of the people bombarded with information believe of the mass media.

As we have seen in previous articles, as we get closer to our times, being able to have more close data over time, the variations in temperature are more and more frequent and wide even over a few years. We will see this better in the next chapter concerning the last century during which meteorological data were recorded daily in all organized countries.

Dr. Pio Petrocchi



L'Italy it was unified as a nation-state only in the 19th century. Since the fall of the Roman Empire, the nation was largely divided between autonomous cities and regional kingdoms. Still, from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, Italy recorded aGolden age, known as Renaissance, with admirable works in art and science, as well as intrigues and conflicts.

Middle Ages Edit

Those who lived before 1500 AD obviously they did not use the term "Middle Ages" to define their times. The concept of "Middle Ages" was coined in the 17th century to describe the period in which the ideals of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire were lost with the fall of Rome in the 5th century.

During this millennium, Europe was dominated by feudal monarchies. Italy was an exception, in fact power was in the hands of the city-states (organized in the form of a municipality) and small counties. Many of them had a prosperous merchant class, which made money from the Silk Road and other routes.

National identity arose only at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. Previously, the small Italian states felt such only as part of the peninsula, but they did not have a common cultural heritage nor a language. City-states were usually rivals, although the Catholic Church was a unifying force. Although most of the city-states had their own languages, such as Venetian in Venice and Neapolitan in Naples, the popularity of the works of Dante Alighieri and Alessandro Manzoni gradually led the Tuscan language to become the lingua franca of the entire Italian peninsula. selected as the basis for standard Italian at the time of unification.

The period from 1000 A.D. in the mid-fourteenth century it is today described as the Middle Ages in Italy and in other European countries it has seen the rise of cathedrals, universities and castles that have survived to this day. Italy became a thoroughfare for the Crusades to the Holy Land. This period of relative progress is believed to have ended with the Great Famine in 1310 and the Black Plague of 1340.

Renaissance Edit

The Greco-Roman cultural baggage survived in part through the Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman civilizations, and the arts and sciences and politics in Italy and Europe made significant progress as early as 1000 AD. For this reason some historians today reject the presence of a break between "Middle Ages" and "Renaissance", which therefore constitute a single great epoch. Others, on the contrary, support the thesis of discontinuity with respect to the Middle Ages, underlining how, according to him, medieval man has no value except as a member of a community or an order, while only in the Renaissance would an attitude take place in Italy, marked by the birth of lordships and principalities, freer and more individualistic on the part of man towards politics and life in general.

The Italian Renaissance generated a cultural and artistic civilization, which had Florence as one of the main centers where the first Florentine humanism originated, which affirmed the primacy of the active life over the contemplative one. From Florence the new cultural movement will reach the Neapolitan Aragonese court of Alfonso I, the papal court of Pius II, the humanist pope, and of Leo X, and the Milanese court of Ludovico il Moro. The Renaissance, as a natural outlet for Humanism, in its specific aspects then spread throughout Europe from the mid-fourteenth century to the whole of the sixteenth century and had as its primary objective the recovery and re-evaluation of ancient classicism as a model of the naturalness of man and his earthly values, questioning the religious vision that had influenced the culture of the entire medieval period. According to the humanists of the period, classical works during the Middle Ages had undergone strong interpretative alterations, from which they had to be freed. The Renaissance intellectual did not limit himself, as in previous humanism, to a theoretical study of classical work, but instead wanted to draw an example from it to turn it to practical experimentation.

The Renaissance is also a moment of particular flowering of the arts and letters, the former characterized by the development of certain forms and techniques such as perspective and oil painting, and the latter by philology and the cult of humanae litterae (classical literature inspired by the concept of humanitas where the term humanism comes from) freed from the encrustations of divinae litterae medieval where religious interests prevailed.

Oil painting on canvas and wood was developed in the 15th century in Italy and the Netherlands and became the most iconic legacy of the Renaissance see European art.

Among the technologies that developed starting from the 15th century we find printing (which brought the Bible, ancient literature, legal documents and news to the common people), gunpowder (which upset the feudal system by making it obsolete the castles and cavalry) and the compass (which made navigation easier).

The decimal numbers were indisputably adopted by the oriental peoples and are still known today as Arabic numerals. Although they were known in southern Europe from the 10th century, printing brought them to widespread use in the 15th century.

Renaissance ideals spread to the rest of Europe in the 1500s and contributed to the Protestant Reformation, in which Christian congregations withdrew from the Roman Catholic Church. While Protestants were successful in many parts of Northern Europe, they failed in Italy, which has remained almost universally Catholic.

When Vasco da Gama discovered the Cape route around Africa, trade between Europe and Asia shifted from the Mediterranean to the ocean, making Italy less important.

Decline Edit

Following the Italian wars of the 1500s, the Italian states lost their cultural and economic dominance, and some of them were conquered by foreign empires, such as Spain and the Kingdom of France, with the Ottomans gaining control of some of their possessions in the eastern Mediterranean. Austria subsequently occupied a large part of northern Italy. Italy was not unified until the 19th century and the cities and regions today maintain a strong, highly differentiated cultural identity, often with roots in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Although politically divided, the Italian peninsula has remained the main European center of fashion, visual arts and classical music to this day. Italy was an important destination on the Grand Tour, the traditional educational journey for the few young men and women who could afford to travel.


Thermal shoulder strap and snow in the mountains

"Temperatures will also suffer a significant drop due to the entry of cold winds from the North - Ferrara warns - in particular at Easter we will be able to find ourselvesi up to 10-12 ° C lower compared to the maximum temperatures, particularly high for the period, recorded these days especially in the mountains and on the Adriatic side. Consequently, precisely on the reliefs on the occasion of the showers it will be able to return to snow at times even below 1000-1200m of altitude.


In the weekend

Today, Friday March 5th, clear skies and temperatures above the seasonal average. It will reach 16 degrees.

Saturday 6 March in cloudy or very cloudy morning, in particular on the plains and early reliefs from the afternoon cloudiness gradually decreasing, little or only locally cloudy in the evening. Weak rainfall and scattered on the western sectors at night and in the morning, more significant on the high plains and early reliefs, running out in the central hours. Snow over 800-1000 meters. Minimum stationary temperatures, maximum decreasing. In the plains, minimums around 7В ° C, maximums around 10В ° C.

Sunday 7 March partly cloudy or hazy, with greater densities in the morning on the western sectors. No precipitation. Minimum temperatures in moderate decline, maximum stationary.


Respected tradition

"Palm trees with the sun, Easter with the obrello". or vice versa. So they say and, at least for this time, the popular saying does not seem to be disproved. The "tradition" that wants the Palm and Easter weekends with opposite time will be largely respected this year. At least as far as temperatures are concerned. After a Sunday of Palm trees with early summer temperatures there will be a thermal collapse around 10 degrees all over the Peninsula.


Video: Local 4 News at 5 -- May 6, 2021