An upshot of taxes? They document historical floods.

Catastrophic floods only occur once or twice a century. This makes it difficult to determine if they are becoming more or less frequent in a changing climate since instrumental flood measurements only go back to the late 1800’s. However, historical hydrologists are digging flood information out of unexpected archives: tax records. Read my interview with Rudolf Brázdil in EGU’s Geolog to learn more.

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The Long Bridge across the River Svratka in Brno where ice floes accumulated during the flood of March 1830 after the extremely severe winter of 1829-1830. (Reproduction of a colour drawing by Frantisek Richter, Brno City Archives, Collection of graphics, prints and reprints, no. 255R)
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