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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Climate variability and grain production in Scania, 1702-1911

Skoglund, Martin Karl


Scania (Skane in Swedish), southern Sweden, offers a particularly interesting case for studying the historical relationship between climate variability and grain production, given the favorable natural conditions in terms of climate and soils for grain production, as well as the low share of temperature-sensitive wheat varieties in its production composition. In this article, a contextual understanding of historical grain production in Scania, including historical, phenological, and natural geographic aspects, is combined with a quantitative analysis of available empirical sources to estimate the relationship between climate variability and grain production between the years 1702 and 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 cool and humid conditions, and to some extent precipitation during the winter months, preferring dry conditions. Diversity within and between historical grain varieties contributed to making this risk manageable. Furthermore, no evidence is found for grain production being particularly sensitive 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, new light is shed 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 temperature series from Lund (1753-1870).

Published in

Climate of the Past
2022, volume: 18, number: 3, pages: 405-433

Authors' information

Skoglund , Martin (Skoglund, Martin)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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