Geographia Polonica (1994) vol. 63

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Prices of food products in Polish territory as index of climatic oscillations in the little ice age

Henryk Maruszczak

Geographia Polonica (1994) vol. 63, pp. 119-130

Abstract

In the period between the two World Wars studies of prices of food articles in Poland were carried out. The particular authors, however, dealt with relatively short periods and did not pay attention to secular oscillations. The results of studies of three different authors made it possible to plot for Cracow a diagram of prices expressed by a silver equivalent, comprising the period 1369-1914. Besides general tendencies depending on economic conditions, long-term oscillations corresponding with climatic changes are found in this diagram. Three periods of a relatively rapid growth of prices can be distinguished which correspond with three cooling waves during "Little Ice Age": I — from the middle of the 14th c. to the middle of the 15th c.; II — from about 1520 to the turn of the 17th and 18th c.; Ill — from 1700 to 1850/1890.

Keywords: climatic oscillations, Little Ice Age, Polish territory, price indices

Henryk Maruszczak, Department of Physical Geography and Paleogeography, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland