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Gullies Galore in Slovakia
Stankoviansky, M. 2003. Historical evolution of permanent gullies in the Myjava Hill Land, Slovakia. Catena 51: 223-239.

What was done
Working in the Myjava Hill Land of Slovakia -- which is situated in the western part of the country near its border with the Czech Republic -- the author employed topographical maps and aerial photographs, field geomorphic investigation, and the study of historical documents, including those from local municipal and church sources, to determine the spatial distribution of gully landforms and the temporal history of their creation.

What was learned
Stankoviansky determined that "the central part of the area, settled between the second half of the 16th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, was affected by gully formation in two periods, the first between the end of the 16th century and the 1730s and the second roughly between the 1780s and 1840s," adding that the gullies were formed "during periods of extensive forest clearance and expansion of farmland," but stating that "the triggering mechanism of gullying was extreme rainfalls during the Little Ice Age [our italics]." More specifically, he writes that "the gullies were formed relatively quickly by repeated incision of ephemeral flows concentrated during extreme rainfall events, which were clustered in periods that correspond with known climatic fluctuations during the Little Ice Age." Subsequently, from the mid-19th century to the present, he reports "there has been a decrease in gully growth because of the afforestation of gullies and especially climatic improvements since the termination of the Little Ice Age [our bold and italics]."

What it means
The several observations of Stankoviansky suggest that extreme and destructive rainfall events were much more common throughout the Myjava Hill Land of Slovakia during the Little Ice Age than they have been subsequently, which view, in his words (and in many references he cites), "is often regarded as generally valid for Central Europe." And this view runs counter to that of most climate alarmists, who tend to equate such destructive precipitation events and the flooding they cause with global warming.

Reviewed 25 March 2009