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Severe Storms of Sub-Mediterranean Slovenia
Ogrin, D. 2007. Severe storms and their effects in sub-Mediterranean Slovenia from the 14th to the mid-19th century. Acta Geographica Slovenia 47: 7-24.

What was done
The author presents "an overview of severe storms and a reconstruction of periods with their reiterative occurrence in sub-Mediterranean Slovenia in the warm half of the year during the so-called pre-instrumental period," based on "data gathered in secondary and tertiary historical sources."

What was learned
Speaking of "violent storms" and "the periods in which these phenomena were more frequent and reached, as to the costs of damage caused, the level of natural disasters or even catastrophes," Ogrin reports that "the 17th and 18th centuries were undoubtedly such periods, particularly their first halves, when besides storms also some other weather-caused natural disasters occurred quite often, so that the inhabitants, who mainly depended on the self-subsistent agriculture, could not recover for several years after some consecutive severe rigours of the weather." In addition, he notes that "the frequency of violent storms in that time was comparable to the incidence towards the end of the 20th century."

What it means
Ogrin, who is in the Department of Geography of the University of Ljubljana, writes that the late 20th-century increase in violent storms "is supposed to be a human-generated consequence of emitting greenhouse gasses and of the resulting global warming of the atmosphere." However, and in spite of this politically-correct explanation that is widely accepted by many governments, he reports that "the damage done by severe storms in the past does not differ significantly from the damage in the present." And this fact suggests that the weather extremes of today, which he says are "supposed to be a human-generated consequence of emitting greenhouse gasses and of the resulting global warming of the atmosphere," may well be caused by something else; for if they have occurred in the past for a different reason (and they have), they can be occurring today for a different reason too.

Reviewed 11 March 2009