Paleoenvironmental humanities: Challenges and prospects of writing deep environmental history


S.T. Hussain and F. Reide’s new article in WIREs Climate Change outlines the potential benefits of using archaeological evidence to investigate what the authors call paleoenvironmental humanities. Archaeological records contain lengthy chronologies of human-environmental interactions and can provide a wealth of information about how humans have adapted to changing or difficult conditions in the past. They point in particular to the paleolithic era, comprising thousands of years and dramatic fluctuations in the climate systems. The authors also argue that these narratives are useful for critiquing narratives of climate determination or irrelevance in the present. Read the full article here.



A new study of a volcanic crater lake in Vietnam’s central highlands analyzes sediment cores from the Biển Hồ maar. These geochemical and sedimentological analyses show increases in sedimentation rates during the time of US military activities in the 1960s-70s, a decrease in sedimentation correlating with reforestation projects around the rim during the 1990s, and a drop in nutrients when a concrete sill was installed to limit water exchange ten years ago. Set alongside other data, this record will also provide calibration for producing longer records from the maar. Read the full study here.



A new climate record from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau suggests that the hydrologic record of the area is linked to changes in the Indian Monsoon and Westerlies. Drawing from lacustrine sediment cores in the source area of the Yellow River, the 1500-year record reflects the major global climate phases of the period covered by the study and correlates with other paleoclimate records from the region. These hydrological and climate variables are also studied in conjunction with changes to the chemical composition of the water and the organic matter contained within it. Read the full study here .


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A new study from a consortium of European researchers analyzes a pollen record from Cyprus alongside the historical record, finding a correlation between climate events like recurrent cold periods and changing precipitation and destabilizing events like outbreaks of disease and social unrest. Periods of ecological stress were correlated with the abandonment of large cities and the growth of small villages, suggesting social fission. The authors also suggest that the climate instability reflected in the pollen record may have contributed to the collapse of a number of larger polities. Read more here.

Swiss Volkskalender of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Picture accompanying the report on the avalanche in Sennwald. Source:  Berner Hinkender Bote  1771,

Picture accompanying the report on the avalanche in Sennwald. Source: Berner Hinkender Bote 1771,

New research appraises the use of the Swiss volkskalender as a source for popular perceptions of climate history. Analyzing the mass-produced Appenzeller Kalender between 1722-1865, Isabelle Vieli shows how events ranging from thunderstorms to unseasonal snowfall and comets were represented in the years afterward. Read it in full here. 

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Two new edited volumes on environment stress, climate, and societal response came out in late 2019, included new research by a number of collaborators in this network:

Martin BauchSchenk, Gerrit J. Schenk, eds., The Crisis of the 14th Century. Teleconnections between Environmental and Societal Change?, Berlin, 2019 (Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung. Beihefte, 13). All articles open access here:  including Bruce Campbell’s lecture during the 2016 conference that initiated this volume.

Andrea Kiss and Kathleen Pribyl, eds. The Dance of Death in Late Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Environmental Stress, Mortality and Social Response. Abingdon-on-Thames 2019 (Environmental Humanities) Mozilla现漏洞 数万电邮或遭窃取_科技大事件_百度新闻出品 ...:TIYO适用于任何智能手机或翻盖手机,但后者运行时需要使用蓝牙。 PCWorld丨 戴尔灵越14 5000系列 中庸的笔记本 灵越14 5000系列根据配置不同定价分别 ...

Culture and Climate in China and East Asia


A new article by Fiona Williamson in WIREs Climate Change reviews the literature on climate history in East Asia, highlighting new work that focuses on how climate has impacted culture in the region. Her review of the literature suggest that historical climatology has laid the ground for more fine-toothed analyses of climate history. In so doing, Williamson argues that climate can be used to not only understand the large-scale migrations and regime collapses that it has been used to understand in East Asia, but also how climate has driven changes in regional customs and philosophical systems on a smaller scale as well. Find out more 手机怎么挂npv.

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