19 Jun 2023
 | 19 Jun 2023

The climate in Poland (Central Europe) in the first half of the last millennium, revisited

Rajmund Przybylak, Piotr Oliński, Marcin Koprowski, Elżbieta Szychowska-Krąpiec, Marek Krąpiec, Aleksandra Pospieszyńska, and Radosław Puchałka

Abstract. The article presents the current state of knowledge on climate change in Poland (Central Europe) in the first half of the last millennium (1001–1500). To this end, it employs all available quantitative climate reconstructions created in the last two decades and four new reconstructions using three dendrochronological series and an extensive database of historical source data on weather conditions. The growth of conifers in lowland and upland Poland depends on the temperature in the cold season, especially in February and March. All available reconstructions based on dendrochronology date represent this time of the year. Summer temperatures were reconstructed using biological proxies and documentary evidence. The latter, however, is limited to the 15th century only. Winter temperature was used as the proxy for annual temperature proxies instead of the more usual use of summer temperature. The Medieval Warm Period (MWP; also called the Medieval Climate Anomaly [MCA]) occurred in Poland probably from the late 12th century to the first halves of the 14th or 15th centuries. All the analysed quantitative reconstructions suggest that the MWP in Poland was comparable to or warmer than the current temperature (1951–2000). The coldest conditions in the entire study period were noted in the first half of the 11th century (both winter and summer) and the second half of the 15th century (only winter). The greatest climate continentality occurred in the 15th century. Good agreement was found between the reconstructions of Poland’s climate and many reconstructions available for Europe.

Rajmund Przybylak et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1143', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1143', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 Sep 2023

Rajmund Przybylak et al.

Rajmund Przybylak et al.


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Short summary
The present paper upgrades our knowledge of Poland’s climate in the period 1001–1500 using multiproxy data. Four new climate reconstructions have been constructed – three based on dendrochronological data (since the 12th century) and one on documentary evidence (since the 15th century). The results should help improve the knowledge of climate change in Europe, particularly in Central Europe.