Historical climatology and hydrology: the role of documentary evidence in the reconstruction of past (hydro)climate and its variabilities
Co-organized by HS13
Convener: Andrea Kiss | Co-conveners: Rudolf Brazdil, Mariano Barriendos, Günter Blöschl
| Attendance Mon, 04 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

While the information, preserved in the records of instrumental measurements, provide an inside view into the history of weather-related extremes of the last 100-150 years or shorter, documentary evidence and the results of natural scientific investigations allow to extend this knowledge several centuries (or millennia) into the past. This concerns, for example those disastrous extremes which were not recorded in the instrumental period, but are known from documentary sources. Compared to palaeo-hydrological investigations of extremes, the papers presented in this session are aimed to provide high-resolution information (with exact dating) based on data derived from documentary evidence, covering a period that does not exceed one-two millennia.
On the one hand, investigations focused on the long-term understanding of variability, changes and shifts in the climatic and/or hydrological regime as well as in the frequency/magnitude of meteorological and hydrological extremes and hazards are welcome. On the other hand, investigations concentrating on one or more great extreme events (extreme cold, heat, floods, droughts etc.) are also invited in the session. Papers discussing the detection of causes of hydrological, meteorological extremes and hazards (environmental, atmospheric/climatic and society-related) in historical times are also addressed and supported to participate in the session. Thus, another important topic of the session is socio-economic responses on extremes or catastrophic events as well as long-term changes, development in cooping weather-related natural hazards. As an integrate part of socio-economic response, the perception and social representation of weather and hydrological hazards and extremes (e.g. floods, droughts) in historical periods are also valuable topics of discussion in the session.
Since this research requires the development of regional chronologies based on good-quality historical sources, besides natural and applied scientists, the active presence and work of historians is of vital importance. The results of historical hydrology investigations and the study of hydro-meteorological extremes in historical times may be utilised in a number of areas such as risk assessment, flood control, hydrological forecasting/predictions, socio-hydrology or in the understanding of the main drivers of hydro-morphological processes.