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CL1.04 Media

Historical Climatology
Convener: Stefan Grab  | Co-Conveners: Rudolf Brazdil , David Nash , Georgina Endfield 
 / Tue, 19 Apr, 10:30–12:00
 / Attendance Tue, 19 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Historical Climatology has gained momentum and worldwide recognition over the last couple of decades, particularly in the light of rapid global climate and environmental change. It is now well recognized that in order to better project future changes and be prepared for those changes, one should look to, and learn from, the past. To this end, historical documentary sources, in many cases spanning back several hundred years and far beyond instrumental weather records, offer detailed descriptive (qualitative) accounts on past weather and climate. Such documentary sources typically include, amongst others: weather diaries, ship log books, missionary reports and letters, historical newspapers, chronicles, accounting and government documents etc. Such proxies have particular advantages in that they in most cases offer details on the specific timing and placement of an event. In addition, valuable insights may be gained on environmental and anthropogenic consequences and responses to specific weather events and climate anomaly. Similarly, oral history records, based on people’s personal accounts and experiences of past weather offer important insights on perceptions of climate change, and details on past and sometimes ‘forgotten’ weather events and their consequences.
This session welcomes all studies using documentary, historical instrumental and oral history based approaches to: produce historical climate chronologies (multi-decadal to centennial scale), gain insights into past climatic periods or specific weather events, detail environmental and human consequences to past climate and weather, share people’s experiences and perceptions of past climate, weather events and climate change, and reflect on lessons learnt (coping and adaptation) from past climate and weather events. Whilst welcoming contributions from all global regions, we particularly appeal for contributions from Asia and the Middle East.