Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-52
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-52

  10 May 2021

10 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Climate variability and grain production in Scania, c. 1702–1911

Martin Karl Skoglund Martin Karl Skoglund
  • Division of Agrarian History, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, 756 51, Sweden

Abstract. Scania (sw. Skåne), southern Sweden, offers a particularly interesting case for studying the historical relationship between climate variability and grain production, given the favourable natural conditions in terms of climate and soils for grain production, as well as the relative lack of heat-sensitive grain varieties like wheat in its production composition. In this article, I combine a contextual understanding of historical grain production in Scania, including historical, phenological and natural geographic aspects, with quantitative analysis of available empirical sources to estimate the relationship between climate variability and grain production between the years c. 1702–1911. The main result of this study is that grain production in Scania was primarily sensitive to climate variability during the high summer months of June and July, preferring relatively cool and humid conditions, and to some extent precipitation during the winter months, preferring relatively dry conditions. Furthermore, grain production was relatively insensitive to climate variability during the spring, autumn and harvest seasons. At the end of the study period, these relationships were shifting as the so-called early improved cultivars were being imported from other parts of Europe. Finally, I also shed new light on the climate history of the region, especially for the late 18th century, previously argued to be a particularly cold period, through homogenization of the early instrumental series from Lund (1753–1870).

Martin Karl Skoglund

Status: open (until 17 Jul 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2021-52', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Jun 2021 reply

Martin Karl Skoglund

Martin Karl Skoglund

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Short summary
This article finds that grain farming in historical Scania (c. 1700–1900) performed better during relatively wet and cold summers, while being relatively resilient towards climate conditions in the spring and autumn. This contrasts with contemporary grain farming in the region which is more oriented towards modern wheat varieties that prefers warmer conditions. At the same time, historical farmers faced a threat common with contemporary farmers: summer droughts, like that of the summer of 2018.