Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-57
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-57

  28 May 2021

28 May 2021

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

Unlocking weather observations from the Societas Meteorologica Palatina (1781–1792)

Duncan Pappert1,2, Yuri Brugnara1,2, Sylvie Jourdain3, Aleksandra Pospieszyńska4,5, Rajmund Przybylak4,5, Christian Rohr2,6, and Stefan Brönnimann1,2 Duncan Pappert et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • 3Direction de la Climatologie et des Service Climatiques, Météo-France, Toulouse, France
  • 4Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
  • 5Centre for Climate Change Research, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
  • 6Institute of History, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Recent years have seen early instrumental observations play an increasingly important role in climate research, allowing past daily-to-decadal climate variability and weather extremes to be explored in greater detail. The 18th century saw the formation of several short-lived meteorological networks of which the one organised by the Societas Meteorologica Palatina is arguably the most well-known. This network stood out as one of those few that efficiently managed to control its members, integrating, refining and publishing measurements taken from numerous stations around Europe and beyond. Although much has been written about the network in both history, science, and individual prominent series used for climatological studies, the actual measurements have not yet been digitised and published in extenso. This paper represents an important step towards filling this perceived gap in research. Here we provide an inventory listing the availability of observed variables for the 37 stations that belonged to the Society's network and discuss their historical context. Most of these observations have been digitised and a considerable fraction has been converted and formatted. In this paper we focus on the temperature and pressure measurements, which have been corrected and homogenised. We then demonstrate their potential for climate research by analysing two cases of extreme weather. The recovered series will have wide applications and could contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind climatic variations and extremes, as well as the societal reactions to adverse weather. Even the shorter series could be ingested into reanalyses and improve the quality of large scale reconstructions.

Duncan Pappert 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 cp-2021-57', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Jun 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Duncan Pappert, 15 Aug 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2021-57', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Duncan Pappert, 15 Aug 2021

Duncan Pappert et al.

Duncan Pappert et al.

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Short summary
This paper presents temperature and pressure measurements from the 37 stations of the late 18th century network of the Societas Meteorologica Palatina, in addition to providing an inventory of the available observations, most of which have been digitised. The quality of the recovered series is relatively good, as demonstrated on behalf of two cases studies. Early instrumental data such as these will help to explore past climate and weather extremes in Europe in greater detail.