Analysis of anthropometric evidence about conscripts born in the region of València (Mediterranean Spain) between 1850 and 1949, in conjunction with high-resolution gridded climatic data and GIS analysis, finds that modern agriculture within a warm climate was conducive not only to regional economic development but also to improvements in health, as signified by increased height. The most benefits accrued to those living in irrigated rural areas. Results show a strong influence of summer and autumn weather on growth, overlapping with the production of food. In irrigated areas, warm temperatures mattered much more than rainfall, whereas in nonirrigated areas, rainfall was crucial for the development of well-being.

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