Climate History Network

Call for Proposals: “Ruling Climate”

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<adapted from H-Env>
Call for Papers: Deadline 10 December 2014


University of Warwick, 16 May 2015

rc_poster_image‘Ruling Climate’ aims to explore the relationship between cultural perceptions of the environment and practical attempts at environmental regulation and change between 1500 and 1800.  It will investigate this complex of problems in an interdisciplinary fashion, focusing particularly on three central research questions:

1) continuities and discrepancies between ancient and early modern climate theories: how were classical theories of climatic influence received and adjusted to new contexts in the early modern period? How did the understanding of climate itself change over time?

2) climate theories and ‘eco-governmentality’: how did climatological ideas inspire and sustain governmental efforts of various kinds, at both a domestic and a colonial level? e.g. the displacement of populations, environmental planning in connection to public health issues, engineering works, choice of specific sites for new colonies, etc.

3) governed with climate / governing climate: what is the relationship between theories of climatic influence and the development of strategies to cope with / modify climate and the environment? e.g. through agricultural improvement, increased human settlement, draining of bogs and marshes, deforestation, etc.

We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers from PhD students and scholars at any stage in their career. Papers from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome, including environmental history, colonial history, intellectual history, historical geography, history of philosophy, history of medicine, history of science, history of political thought, history of technology. Please send a 200-word abstract (including your name, institutional affiliation and a provisional title) and a one-page CV to by 10 December 2014. Successful speakers will be notified in January 2015.

Read the full announcement here.

Written by Sam White

November 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

CFP: 19th Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research

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<from the INQUA website>
XIX INQUA Congress
Quaternary Perspectives on Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Civilization
27 July – 2 August, 2015, in Nagoya, Japan

The knowledge gained from Quaternary research, particularly from past records of unusual events and abrupt changes, is invaluable for understanding nature and taking appropriate actions to mitigate natural risks. Scientists involved in Quaternary studies must generously contribute their knowledge to help minimize the effects of disasters from hazardous natural processes.

Nagoya Castle

Once every four years, Quaternary researchers from all over the world meet at the INQUA Congress to exchange the latest research results and develop agendas for the years to come. In 2015, the Congress will take place in Nagoya, Japan. The Nagoya Congress Center (NCC), the venue, is the largest conference facility in central Japan. Nagoya is located between Tokyo and Osaka, connected to both cities by super-express trains (Shinkansen) departing every ten minutes. Kyoto and Nara, former capitals, Lake Biwa, and the Japan Alps are located within easy access of Nagoya.


The Congress program will address the themes of the Commissions during 6 days of oral and poster sessions, plenary presentations, and side meetings. The scientific program will be garnished with social events at scenic spots, and of course, in the tradition of INQUA Congresses, with attractive field trips before, during, and after the Congress week.

September 2014:
Call for scientific abstracts open

20 December 2014:
Deadline for abstract submission and financial support submission

Written by samwhite2426

November 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Conference of Historical Geographers Registration Open

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?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????ICHG 2015 Third Circular: registration open

16th International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG)

Dates: Sunday 5 to Friday 10 July 2015

Location: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London, SW7 2AR


Full details of registration fees including early-booking rates, options for mid-conference study visits, conference buffet dinner, and post-conference field trips, are available on the conference website:

More than a dozen sessions on climate history and historical climatology have been proposed for the ICHG and there are plans to hold a meeting at the congress to organize future events and activities.

Written by samwhite2426

November 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Climate Variability and Human Population in Prehistoric Australia

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<from H-Env>

landscapeNew podcast episode: Climate variability and population dynamics in prehistoric Australia

by Jan Oosthoek

The first people to settle in Australia, ancestors of present day Aboriginals, arrived in Australia about 50,000 years ago. They encountered a cooler and drier continent than at present. From about 35,000 years ago global temperatures and water availability declined even further culminating in the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), about 21,000 years ago. At this time, the Australian continent entered its driest and coolest period since modern humans colonized it. By 12,000 years ago the climate warmed rapidly, sea levels rose and climate began to ameliorate.

A new episode of the Exploring Environmental History Podcast explores the responses and adaptations by Aboriginal people to climate change over the past 50,000 years. The guest on this episode of the podcast is Alan Williams, an archaeologist and graduate student in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University in Canberra.

To listen to this episode visit:

Also watch the visualisation of the intro on YouTube.

You can also follow any updates on Twitter at: @EH_Resources

Written by samwhite2426

October 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm

In honor of two 70th birthdays in climatology…

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This past week saw two 70th birthday celebrations for two outstanding scholars and mentors in historical climatology and climate science, respectively.  On Saturday, colleagues in Switzerland celebrated the birthday of Christian Pfister.  With his permission, I attach Franz Mauelshagen’s panegyric for the occasion here.  On Monday students, collaborators, friends, and distinguished scholars (and unaccountably, me too) joined at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York for a symposium in honor of Mark Cane.  The full program can be found here.

Written by Sam White

October 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

New Study: The 1934 Dust Bowl was the worst drought of the last millennium in North America

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Farmer_walking_in_dust_storm_Cimarron_County_Oklahoma2A new study by Cook and collaborators at NASA and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has found that 1934, the start of the Dust Bowl, was the worst North American drought of the past millennium.  Using the updated tree-ring based North American Drought Atlas, the authors found that the drought was exceptionally intense and affected over 70% of Western North America, making it considerably worse than even the “megadrought” of the 1580s (if not of the same duration).  The authors argue that despite a strong La Niña event, sea surface temperature forcing was not a major factor (cf. Schubert et al. 2004).  The exceptional strength of the event offers some circumstantial support for the authors’ earlier article arguing that dust from the eroded soils of the Dust Bowl amplified the drought, particularly during the spring.

Written by samwhite2426

October 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm

International Conference on Volcanoes, Climate, and Society

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Caldera_Mt_Tambora_Sumbawa_IndonesiaInternational Conference on Volcanoes, Climate, and Society,
“Bicentenary of the great Tambora eruption”,
7 – 11 April 2015 at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Two hundred years after the eruption of Mount Tambora in April 1815, an event that changed global climate, the University of Bern and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research OCCR organize the international conference “Volcanoes, Climate and Society”. It will revisit the event from different scientific perspectives and explore how our ancestors managed the crisis that followed the eruption.

The April 1815 eruption of Tambora changed global climate, it caused a „Year Without a Summer“ which affected societies, and it transformed science. Two hundred years later, we want to look back at this event, and look forward. What is the state of knowledge on the 1815 eruption and its aftermath? What has science learned from the event, and what more can we learn from it?

In the conference, we will revisit the 1815 eruption from a volcanologists perspective, we will approach the eruption from the point of view of climate proxies, we will search its traces in historical climate reconstructions and we will reenact the event in model simulations. The conference will also explore how our ancestors managed the crisis that followed the eruption.

The conference will cover the following topics:
• Volcanic eruptions, atmospheric processes and aerosols: models and observations
• Volcanic eruptions recorded in paleoenvironmental archives
• Historical climatology and documentary data
• Impacts and societal responses
• Arts and culture

Clive Oppenheimer (U. Cambridge, UK), Stephen Self (UC Berkeley, USA)

Hans Graf (U. Cambridge, UK), Alan Robock (Rutgers U. USA), Susan Solomon (MIT, USA), Markus Rex (AWI, Potsdam, DE), Phil Jones (CRU, U. East Anglia, UK), Gilbert P. Compo (NOAA ESRL / CIRES CDC, USA), Jürg Luterbacher (U. Giessen, DE), Dennis Wheeler (Emeritus, UK), Eduardo Zorita (HZG, Geesthacht, DE), Claudia Timmreck (MPI Hamburg, DE), Christian Pfister (U. Bern, CH), Gillen D‘Arcy Wood (U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA), John Thornes (U. Birmingham, UK)

We encourage papers on topics relating to all aspects listed above under Format and Sessions. Abstract details can be found on
Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 October 2014

Written by samwhite2426

October 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Posted in In the News


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