Researchers use church records to reconstruct weather patterns

A team of Spanish researchers are using records of agricultural rites kept by the Cathedral of Toledo to reconstruct a pattern of droughts that plagued the country between 1506 and 1900.

The resulting article was published in Global and Planetary Change and showed "that droughts in Spain throughout most of the 16th Century were infrequent and shorter than in subsequent periods. The period between 1676 and 1710 was characterised by lower hydric stress, and the 19th Century experienced a low frequency of droughts."