Very interesting Climate information, especially if you are a Scottish historian.
Recent work has linked historical crises, both regional and local, with palaeoclimatic estimates of global and hemispheric climate change. Such studies tend to underemphasize the spatiotemporal and socioeconomical disparity of human suffering and adaptive capacity as well as the complexities of past climate change. We focus herein on the effects in Scotland of a severely cold climate episode in the 1690s, associated with major tropical volcanic events including a large unidentified tropical eruption in 1695. A tree-ring based summer temperature reconstruction from the northern Cairngorms region identifies the 1690s as the coldest decade in Scotland for the last 750 years. Archival sources meanwhile reveal the 1690s as likely the worst era of crop failure, food shortage, and mortality ever documented in Scottish history. The connection appears simple – volcanic cooling triggered famine – but the drivers towards famine are far more complex. Although the unusual coldness of the 1690s was near-hemispheric in scale, it had a differential impact across north-western Europe. Within Scotland, both lowlands and highlands experienced dire conditions.