The onset of the Little Ice Age in Andalusia (southern Spain): detection and characterization from documentary sources
Abstract. In this work the onset of the "Little Ice Age" period in Andalusia (southern Spain) is analysed from documentary data, focusing attention on the evolution of the climate during the 16th and 17th centuries. It is shown that changes in the rainfall regime have been more important than those in the temperature in studying the Andalusian climate change. Analysis of the total annual precipitation is carried out by codifying the documentary data and establishing an ordinal index. Several statistical methods are used to detect and characterize climate changes in the region. The results suggest a fluctuating evolution, without trends or abrupt changes, with a prevailing wet period from 1550 to 1650 AD. Cycles of ~17, 3.5 and 2.1 years are detected. Some possible causal mechanisms are suggested.