Euro-Climhist –

Ways to Weather Hindcasting

Gletsch in the years of 1855/56 ... and in 2009.

This early photograph of the Rhone Glacier close to Gletsch from about 1855/56 visualizes the far reaching climatic change over the last 150 years, which cannot been perceived otherwise. Around 1860 the Rhone Glacier filled up the upper valley completely with its huge ice mass. Today the glacier-tongue melted so far back that it cannot be seen from the valley any more. Climate means the (statistical) summary of weather events at a specific place over a long time-span that is over thirty years and more, whereas human life follows the rhythm of the weather within some days or weeks.

Gletsch on the Dufour Map 1854/1864 and on the National Map 2007. geodata © swisstopo

With Euro-Climhist, evidence on weather and climate is made accessible through a user-friendly database query, including daily weather observations as well as extreme events and long-term climatic development.

  • Module 1: Weather and climate in Switzerland (1501-1999) (release 2 online since November 2015)
  • Module 2: Weather and climate in Europe during the Middle Ages (1000-1500) (in preparation)
  • Further modules are in the planning stage (following the area of modern counties and starting from 1500)