Little Ice Age Farming in Finland: Preindustrial Agriculture on the Edge of the Grim Reaper’s Scythe

  title={Little Ice Age Farming in Finland: Preindustrial Agriculture on the Edge of the Grim Reaper’s Scythe},
  author={Jari Holopainen and Samuli Helama},
  journal={Human Ecology},
This study examines potential climatic influences on historical agrarian populations in Finland by means of historical weather diaries, rye phenology, and rye and barley grain-figure (ratio between sown and harvested grain) data from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Crops exhibited great temporal variation. During the poorest years, the amount of harvested grain was less than that sown whereas during the better years the sown grain was harvested more than tenfold. Depending on the… 
Reconstructing crop yield variability in Finland: Long-term perspective of the cultivation history on the agricultural periphery since ad 760
Lack of documentation on past harvest fluctuations limits the exploration of long-term trends in crop production and agricultural adaptation strategies. A long-term perspective is needed, however, to
Climatic signatures in crops and grain prices in 19th-century Sweden
Climate and weather variation affect agricultural productivity, with consequences for both overall food availability and the wider economy. Knowledge of these processes has implications for
Climate variability and grain production in Scania, c. 1702–1911
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
Did the mid-Holocene environmental changes cause the boom and bust of hunter-gatherer population size in eastern Fennoscandia?
Prehistoric hunter-gatherer population size is often assumed to follow climatic and other environmental forcings that affect environmental productivity and the availability of food for human
Climate variability and grain production in Scania, 1702–1911
Abstract. Scania (Skåne in Swedish), southern Sweden, offers a particularly interesting case for studying the historical relationship between climate variability and grain production, given the
Buried in water, burdened by nature—Resilience carried the Iron Age people through Fimbulvinter
While the impact of the prolonged cold darkness of the 6th century was devastating for European communities relying on cultivation, the broad range of livelihoods provided resilience for the Levänluhta people to overcome the abrupt climatic decline.
Crop Yield Responses to Temperature Fluctuations in 19th Century Finland: Provincial Variation in Relation to Climate and Tree Rings
Past agricultural responses to climate variability can helps us to better understand the current and future impacts of climate change on agricultural production. We studied rye (Secale cereale) and
Crop Yield and Temperature Changes in North China during 601–900 AD
Depending on the descriptions of crop yield and social response to crop failure/harvest from Chinese historical documents, we classified the crop yield of North China during 601–900 AD into six
Climatic anomalies, food systems, and subsistence crises in medieval Novgorod and Ladoga
Climatic factors have affected subsistence strategies throughout human history. In northern Europe and Russia, short-term climatic anomalies and weather extremes are commonly thought to underlie


Soil Limitations to Agrarian Land Production in Premodern Iceland
Early arable activity in Iceland, introduced in the late ninth century A.D., has been characterized as marginal and at a subsistence level, largely abandoned by the 1500s as a result of climatic
Secular climatic change and marginal agriculture
An assessment is made of the significance of secular climatic change to marginal cultivation in south-east Scotland Climatic limits to cultivation in this region occur at levels of about 1050
Early-Norse Home-Field Productivity in the Faroe Islands
In the early Norse settlement period throughout the North Atlantic, effective management of the land area surrounding the domestic settlement, the home-field, was essential. In the Faroe Islands, the
Climate Variation and the Rise and Fall of an Andean Civilization
Paleolimnological and archaeological records that span 3500 years from Lake Titicaca and the surrounding Bolivian–Peruvian altiplano demonstrate that the emergence of agriculture (ca. 1500 B.C.) and
The Responses of Species to Climate Over Two Centuries: An Analysis of the Marsham Phenological Record, 1736-1947
If commonly used climate scenarios are accurate it is predicted that most or all of the indications of spring noted in the Marsham record will occur earlier in the calendar year.
Solar Forcing of Drought Frequency in the Maya Lowlands
It is concluded that a significant component of century-scale variability in Yucatan droughts is explained by solar forcing, and some of the maxima in the 208-year drought cycle correspond with discontinuities in Maya cultural evolution, suggesting that the Maya were affected by these bicentennial oscillations in precipitation.
Comparison of living-tree and subfossil ringwidths with summer temperatures from 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in Northern Finland
Summary This work seeks to analyse the importance of summer-temperatures an the tree-ring growth of Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) during the past three centuries. Three living-tree chronologies,
Plant phenological data and tree-rings as palaeoclimate indicators in south-west Finland since AD 1750
The skill of phenological data for reconstructing the spring temperatures was statistically proved and non-stationary relationship between the tree-rings and phenological indices and observed spring temperatures were showed.
Extracting long‐period climate fluctuations from tree‐ring chronologies over timescales of centuries to millennia
For a long time, tree‐rings have been thought of as containing almost no variation at timescales of centuries and millennia, i.e. at low frequencies. Here, we show that this might be an issue of data
The ‘little ice age’: re‐evaluation of an evolving concept
ABSTRACT. This review focuses on the development of the ‘Little Ice Age’ as a glaciological and climatic concept, and evaluates its current usefulness in the light of new data on the glacier and