The Little Ice Age in Southwest Spain
Reference
Sousa, A. and Garcia-Murillo, P.  2003.  Changes in the wetlands of Andalusia (Doñana Natural Park, SW Spain) at the end of the Little Ice Age.  Climatic Change 58: 193-217.

What was done
The authors studied proxy indicators of climatic change in Doñana Natural Park in the Andalusia region of southwest Spain (37°10'N, 6°45'W), comparing their results with those of several other such studies conducted in neighboring regions.

What was learned
The Little Ice Age (LIA) was by no means uniform in the region of study, including both wetter and drier periods.  Nevertheless, Sousa and Garcia-Murillo cite Rodrigo et al. (2000) as indicating that "the LIA was characterized in the southern Iberian Peninsula by increased rainfall."  Similarly, they cite Grove (2001) as indicating that "climatic conditions inducing the LIA glacier advances [of Northern Europe] were also responsible for an increase in flooding frequency and sedimentation in Mediterranean Europe."  The authors' work complements these findings by indicating "an aridization of the climatic conditions after the last peak of the LIA (1830-1870)."

What it means
Although there was in increase in temperature on the order of 0.7°C since the end of the Little Ice Age in various parts of Spain (Lampre, 1994; Garcia Barron, 2000), the authors conclude that precipitation differences were more significant in delineating the Little Ice Age in this part of the world than were temperature differences.

References
Garcia Barron, L.  2000.  Analisis de series termopluviometricas para la elaboracion de modelos climaticos en el suroeste de España.  Thesis.  Department of Fisica Aplicada II, University of Sevilla, Sevilla.

Grove, A.T.  2001.  The "Little Ice Age" and its geomorphological consequences in Mediterranean Europe.  Climatic Change 48: 121-136.

Lampre, F.  1994.  La Linea de equilibrio glacial y los suelos helados en el macizo de La Maladeta (Pirineo Aragones): Evolucion desde la Pequeña Edad del Hielo y situacion actual.  In: Marti Bono, C. and Garcia-Ruiz, J.M. (Eds.) El glaciarismo surpirenaico: nuevas aportaciones.  Geoforma Ediciones, Logroño, pp. 125-142.

Rodrigo, F.A., Esteban-Parra, M.J., Pozo-Vazquez, D. and Castro-Diez, Y.  2000.  Rainfall variability in southern Spain on decadal to centennial time scales.  International Journal of Climatology 20: 721-732.


Reviewed 13 August 2003

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