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.
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.
Call for scientific abstracts open
20 December 2014:
Deadline for abstract submission and financial support submission
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: http://www.ichg2015.org/registration/
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.
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: http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast.html#63
Also watch the visualisation of the intro on YouTube.
You can also follow any updates on Twitter at: @EH_Resources
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.
A 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.
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.
SCOPE OF THE CONFERENCE
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
CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Clive Oppenheimer (U. Cambridge, UK), Stephen Self (UC Berkeley, USA)
CONFIRMED INVITED SPEAKERS
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)
CALL FOR PAPERS
We encourage papers on topics relating to all aspects listed above under Format and Sessions. Abstract details can be found on http://www.oeschger.unibe.ch/events/conferences/tambora/abstracts_en.html
Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 October 2014
Last month, world leaders met at UN Headquarters in New York City for Climate Summit 2014. As protests raged across the globe, diplomats established the framework for a major agreement next year. The aim will be to limit anthropogenic warming to no more than 2 °C, a threshold established by scientists and policymakers, beyond which climate change is increasingly dangerous and unpredictable.
Just days after the 2014 summit, policy expert David Victor and influential astrophysicist Charles Kennel published an article in Nature that called on governments to “ditch the 2 °C warming goal.” Kennel and Victor argue that the rise in average global temperatures has stalled since 1998, as warming is increasingly absorbed by the world’s oceans. Variations in global temperature therefore do not directly reflect climate change, and governments should adopt other benchmarks for action. Atmospheric concentrations of Carbon Dioxide, they contend, more accurately reveal the relentless advance of climate change. In any case, limiting the rise in global temperatures to just 2 °C would impose unrealistic costs on national economies. Read more