Articles | Volume 18, issue 9
Research article
 | Highlight paper
09 Sep 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 09 Sep 2022

Recession or resilience? Long-range socioeconomic consequences of the 17th century volcanic eruptions in northern Fennoscandia

Heli Huhtamaa, Markus Stoffel, and Christophe Corona

Data sets

Radiodensitometric-dendroclimatological conifer chronologies from Lapland (Scandinavia) and the Alps (Switzerland) ( Fritz Hans Schweingruber, Thomas Bartholin, Ernst Schaur, and Keith R. Briffa

Reconstruction of summer temperatures from tree-rings of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in coastal northern Norway ( Andreas J. Kirchhefer

Variability and extremes of northern Scandinavian summer temperatures over the past two millennia ( Jan Esper, Ulf Büntgen, Mauri Timonen, and David C. Frank

Potential bias in 'updating' tree-ring chronologies using regional curve standardisation: Re-processing 1500 years of Torneträsk density and ring-width data ( Thomas M. Melvin, Håkan Grudd, and Keith R. Briffa

Revising midlatitude summer temperatures back to AD 600 based on a wood density network ( Lea Schneider, Jason E. Smerdon, Ulf Büntgen, Rob J. S. Wilson, Vladimir S. Myglan, Alexander V. Kirdyanov, and Jan Esper

An ensemble version of the E-OBS temperature and precipitation data sets Richard C. Cornes, Gerard van der Schrier, Else J. M. van den Besselaar, and Philip D. Jones

Huhtamaa et al. assess the socioeconomic consequences of 17th century volcanic eruptions in Fennoscandia. They find that while all the eruptions led to poor grain harvest in the region through their climatic impact, the socioeconomic response varied. They suggest that the micro-regional socioeconomic system modulated the socioeconomic response to each eruption. Such a framework should be used to further our understanding of the impact of volcanic eruptions on societal crises.
Short summary
Tree-ring data and written sources from northern Fennoscandia reveal that large 17th century eruptions had considerable climatic, agricultural, and socioeconomic impacts far away from the eruption locations. Yet, micro-regional investigation shows that the human consequences were commonly indirect, as various factors, like agro-ecosystems, resource availability, institutions, and personal networks, dictated how the volcanic cold pulses and related crop failures materialized on a societal level.