In search of colonial El Niño events and a brief history of meteorology in Ecuador
- 1ARCHISS Group, Calle Guaranda 131, Quito, Ecuador
- 2UR 32 Great Ice, IRD, B.P. 64501, 34394 Montpellier, France
Abstract. This study shows a brief overview of the development of meteorology in Ecuador from historical documentation of climatic events in the Colonial era through to modern data collection. In the colonial era (16th century-1824), historical documents of rogation ceremonies and municipal proceedings, from the Quito area, provide a rich source of climate information, including El Niño events. Our preliminary findings show that very few of the historically documented catastrophes and other marked environmental events in Quito match known El Niño episodes. Independently, the first meteorological data was collected in Ecuador (beginning with La Condamine in 1738), followed by the earliest attempts to build a national meteorological network in the 1860's, linked closely to President Gabriel García Moreno and the Jesuits. The 1925 El Niño phenomenon was the first important meteorological episode recorded with scientific instrumentation in Ecuador, with newspapers providing complementary archives about the extreme impact of this event.