Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
Clim. Past, 17, 1273–1314, 2021

Special issue: International methods and comparisons in climate reconstruction...

Clim. Past, 17, 1273–1314, 2021

Review article 17 Jun 2021

Review article | 17 Jun 2021

Climate indices in historical climate reconstructions: a global state of the art

David J. Nash et al.

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Documentary data and the study of past droughts: a global state of the art
Rudolf Brázdil, Andrea Kiss, Jürg Luterbacher, David J. Nash, and Ladislava Řezníčková
Clim. Past, 14, 1915–1960,,, 2018
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Subject: Proxy Use-Development-Validation | Archive: Historical Records | Timescale: Decadal-Seasonal
Could phenological records from Chinese poems of the Tang and Song dynasties (618–1279 CE) be reliable evidence of past climate changes?
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Central Europe, 1531–1540 CE: The driest summer decade of the past five centuries?
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Cited articles

Academy of Meteorological Science of China Central Meteorological Administration: Yearly Charts of Dryness/Wetness in China for the Last 500 Years, Cartographic Publishing House, Beijing, 1981. 
Adamson, G. C. D.: Private diaries as information sources in climate research, WIRES Clim. Change, 6, 599–611, 2015. 
Adamson, G. C. D. and Nash, D. J.: Documentary reconstruction of monsoon rainfall variability over western India, 1781–1860, Clim. Dynam., 42, 749–769, 2014. 
Adamson, G. C. D. and Nash, D. J.: Climate history of Asia (excluding China), in: The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History, edited by: White, S., Pfister, C., and Mauelshagen, F., Palgrave Macmillan, London, 203–211, 2018. 
Alcoforado, M. J., Nunes, M. D., Garcia, J. C., and Taborda, J. P.: Temperature and precipitation reconstruction in southern Portugal during the late Maunder Minimum (AD 1675–1715), Holocene, 10, 333–340, 2000. 
Short summary
Qualitative evidence contained within historical sources provides an important record of climate variability for periods prior to the onset of systematic meteorological data collection. Before such evidence can be used for climate reconstructions, it needs to be converted to a quantitative format. A common approach is the generation of ordinal-scale climate indices. This review, written by members of the PAGES CRIAS working group, provides a global synthesis of the use of the index approach.