Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Clim. Past, 15, 1395–1409, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1395-2019
Clim. Past, 15, 1395–1409, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1395-2019
Research article
30 Jul 2019
Research article | 30 Jul 2019

Causes of increased flood frequency in central Europe in the 19th century

Stefan Brönnimann et al.

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Cited articles

Anonymous: Sur un pluie extraordinaire tombée le 20 Mai 1827, dans la vallée du Léman, Bibliothèque universelle, 35, P. 84, 1827. 
Bhend, J., Franke, J., Folini, D., Wild, M., and Brönnimann, S.: An ensemble-based approach to climate reconstructions, Clim. Past, 8, 963–976, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-963-2012, 2012. 
Bichet, A., Folini, D., Wild, M., and Schär, C.: Enhanced Central European summer precipitation in the late 19th century: a link to the Tropics, Q. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 140, 111–123, 2014. 
Brönnimann, S.: Climatic changes since 1700, Adv. Glob. Change Res., 55, 360 pp., https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19042-6, 2015. 
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Short summary
During the 19th century flood frequency was high in central Europe, but it was low in the mid-20th century. This paper tracks these decadal changes in flood frequency for the case of Switzerland from peak discharge data back to precipitation data and daily weather reconstructions. We find an increased frequency in flood-prone weather types during large parts of the 19th century and decreased frequency in the mid-20th century. Sea-surface temperature anomalies can only explain a small part of it.