Historical Weather Indices from SwitzerlandEntry ID: NOAA_NCDC_PALEO_93-027
Abstract: These two files contain the Graduated Indices GI [+3 ,-3] for both temperature
and precipitation from 1525 to 1989. The first column contains the year,
followed by the monthly temperature indices. Then there are five columns with
indices for each season and the year. Precipitation indices are provided in
the same order.
The Graduated Index GI [+3,-3] is bound on a high density of data and ... on the
availability of quasi continuous proxy data from historical and natural
archives that are calibrated within the period of instrumental observations.
The reference period is 1901-1960. Winter temperatures are estimated from
hydrological indicators such as the proportion of the number of snowfalls
relative to that of rainy days, the duration of snow-cover and the freezing of
lakes in the Alpine borderland and observed signs of vegetative activity. For
the spring and summer season the focus is on biological indicators such as
dendro-climatic data, phenological observations, para-phenological indicators
such as grape or vine harvest dates, as well as on continuous quantitative
data on the volume of vine harvests, but also on snow-falls in the Alps.
Precipitation is estimated from the number of rainy days obtained from weather
diaries and from evidence on floods and low water tables of large rivers and
Monthly, seasonal and yearly indices may take the following values:
+ /3 for very warm or wet, cold or dry anomalies respectively.
Anomalies are defined as <1st duodecile or >11th duodecile
according to the 1901-60 distribution for temperature.
The precipitation index is based upon several instrumental
series of both sums of precipitation and number of days with
precipitation >0.3mm (see Pfister 1984 for details)
+ /-2 for warm or wet, cold or dry months, respectively
+ /-1 for months with temperature or precipitation above or below average
0 for "average" months or data not available
On a seasonal level the GI is defined as the average of the monthly GI, which
yields gradations of 0.3 between -3 and +3. Anomalies correspond to graduated
indices of >= + 2.3 and <=- 2.3, respectively. On a yearly level the GI is
defined as the average of the monthly GI.
The entire documentation which underlies the indices is titled CLIMHIST-CH, and
is available on paper or microfiche from METEOTEST, Fabrikstr. 29 a, CH 3012
(Click for Interactive Map)
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Pfister, C.
Dataset Title: Historical Weather Indices from Switzerland
Dataset Series Name: IGBP PAGES/WDCA Data Contribution Series #93-027
Dataset Release Date: 1993
Dataset Release Place: Boulder, CO
Dataset Publisher: IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology
Issue Identification: 93-027
Other Citation Details: NOAA/NCDC Paleoclimatology ProgramOnline Resource: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/historical/switzerland/readm...
Start Date: 1525-01-01Stop Date: 1989-12-31
ISO Topic Category
Data Set Progress
Distribution Media: online ftp
Distribution Format: ascii, excel
Email: Christian.Pfister at hist.unibe.ch
Historisches Institut der Universitat Bern Engehaldenstrasse 4
Postal Code: CH-3012
Pfister, C. (1984): Das Klima der Schweiz von 1525-1860 und seine Bedeutung in der Geschichte von Bevoelkerung und Landwirtschaft. Bern.
Pfister, C. (1992): Monthly temperature and precipitation patterns in Central Europe from 1525 to the present. A methodology for quantifying man made evidence on weather and climate. In: Bradley R.S., Jones P.D. (eds.) Climate since 1500A.D., pp. 118-143. London.
Pfister C., Kington J., Kleinlogel G., Schuele H., Siffert E. (1994): The
creation of high resolution spatio- temporal reconstructions of past climate from direct meteorological observations and proxy data. Methodological considerations and results. In: Frenzel, B., Pfister C., Glaeser, B. (eds), Climate in Europe 1675-1715.
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2006-07-18
Last DIF Revision Date: 2007-09-11