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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jan 2019

Research article | 11 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

The longest homogeneous series of grape harvest dates, Beaune 1354–2018, and its significance for the understanding of past and present climate

Thomas Labbé1,2, Christian Pfister3, Stefan Brönnimann3,4, Daniel Rousseau5, Jörg Franke3,4, and Benjamin Bois6,7 Thomas Labbé et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), University of Leipzig, Specks Hof, Reichsstraße 4-6, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Dijon, USR 3516 CNRS, University of Burgundy, 6 Esplanade Erasme, BP 26611, 21066 Dijon CEDEX, France
  • 3Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Hochschustrasse 4, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 4Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Hallerstrasse 12, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 5Conseil Supérieur de la Météorologie, 73 avenue de Paris, 94160 Saint-Mandé, France
  • 6Biogéosciences UMR 6282 CNRS, University of Burgundy, 6 boulevard Gabriel, 21000 Dijon, France
  • 7Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin, University of Burgundy, 1 rue Claude Ladrey, 21000 Dijon, France

Abstract. Records of grape harvest dates (GHD) are the oldest and the longest continuous phenological data in Europe. However, many available series including the well-known (Dijon) Burgundy series are error prone, because scholars so far uncritically drew the data from nineteenth century publications instead of going back to the archives. The GHD from the famous vine region of Beaune (Burgundy) were entirely drawn from the archives, critically cross checked with narrative evidence and calibrated with the long Paris temperature series comprising the 360 years from 1659 to 2018. The 664-year-long Beaune series from 1354 to 2018 is also significantly correlated with tree-ring and documentary proxy evidence as well as with the Central European temperature series (from 1500). The series is clearly subdivided into two parts. From 1354 to 1987 grapes were on average picked from 28 September on, whereby during the last 31 year long period of rapid Global Warming from 1988 to 2018 harvests began 13 days earlier. In the Paris temperature measurements since 1659, April-to-July temperature reached the highest value ever in 2018. The 33 extremely warm events comprising the 5 % percentile bracket of GHD are unevenly distributed over time. 21 of them occurred between 1393 and 1719, whereby this is the case for just five years between 1720 and 2002. Since the hot summer 2003 8 out of 16 spring-summer periods were outstanding according the statistic of the last 664 years, no less than 5 among them within the last 8 years. In sum, the 664-year-long Beaune GHD series demonstrates that outstanding hot and dry years in the past were outliers, whereby they became the norm since the transition to rapid Global Warming in 1988.

Thomas Labbé et al.
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Thomas Labbé et al.
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Short summary
In this paper we present the longest grape harvest dates (GHD) record reconstructed to date, i.e. Beaune (France, Burgundy) 1354-2018. Drawn on unedited archive material the series is validated using the long Paris temperature series that goes back to 1658 and used to assess April-to-July temperatures from 1354 to 2018. The distribution of extreme early GHD is unevenly distributed over the 664-year-long period of the series and mirrors the rapid global warming from 1988 to 2018.
In this paper we present the longest grape harvest dates (GHD) record reconstructed to date,...