International methods and comparisons in climate reconstruction and impacts from archives of societies
International methods and comparisons in climate reconstruction and impacts from archives of societies
Editor(s): Sam White, Qing Pei, Andrea Kiss, Rudolf Brazdil, Martin Bauch, Heli Huhtamaa, and Chantal Camenisch
Personal documents, narrative sources, archival materials, and early instrumental observations play a vital role in reconstructing past climates and their historical consequences. However, evaluation of these “archives of societies” and their climate and weather information requires specialized training in local languages and history. The special issue aims to promote communication among researchers in historical climatology in different world regions by clarifying and comparing approaches. To this end, we invite global reviews and analyses of methods, sources, and results in historical climatology, as well as original research in regional and national historical climatology that explains its sources and methods for an international audience. We especially encourage contributions that facilitate international comparisons in different areas of historical climatology research, including (1) different national or regional source materials, such as the types of records available, their recording style, their temporal and spatial distribution, and the philosophical or cultural elements essential to their interpretation; (2) different methods of quantification and of calibration and verification of data in the archives of societies for the reconstruction of climate parameters, including the use of ice- and plant-phenological proxies and the indexing of qualitative descriptions; (3) the reporting of extreme weather and natural disasters in different national or regional contexts, including literary elements and political and religious biases in historical descriptions; and (4) methods of attributing societal impacts to climate variability in different national or regional contexts, including the availability and use of historical harvest, price, wage, and migration data. The broader goals of this SI include further collaboration among international researchers in historical climatology; dissemination of best practices in historical climatology; foundations for transcontinental climate reconstructions that incorporate the archives of societies; and more accurate cross-cultural comparative analyses of climate and weather impacts, adaptation, and resilience during past centuries.

This special issue is a product of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS) working group.

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09 Nov 2022
A Bayesian approach to historical climatology for the Burgundian Low Countries in the 15th century
Chantal Camenisch, Fernando Jaume-Santero, Sam White, Qing Pei, Ralf Hand, Christian Rohr, and Stefan Brönnimann
Clim. Past, 18, 2449–2462,,, 2022
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24 Jun 2022
A global inventory of quantitative documentary evidence related to climate since the 15th century
Angela-Maria Burgdorf
Clim. Past, 18, 1407–1428,,, 2022
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17 May 2022
Quantifying and reducing researcher subjectivity in the generation of climate indices from documentary sources
George C. D. Adamson, David J. Nash, and Stefan W. Grab
Clim. Past, 18, 1071–1081,,, 2022
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29 Apr 2022
Documentary-based climate reconstructions in the Czech Lands 1501–2020 CE and their European context
Rudolf Brázdil, Petr Dobrovolný, Jiří Mikšovský, Petr Pišoft, Miroslav Trnka, Martin Možný, and Jan Balek
Clim. Past, 18, 935–959,,, 2022
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01 Apr 2022
Water level change of Lake Machang in eastern China over 1814–1902 CE
Jie Fei
Clim. Past, 18, 649–655,,, 2022
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04 Mar 2022
Climate variability and grain production in Scania, 1702–1911
Martin Karl Skoglund
Clim. Past, 18, 405–433,,, 2022
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29 Jun 2021
Climate-driven desertification and its implications for the ancient Silk Road trade
Guanghui Dong, Leibin Wang, David Dian Zhang, Fengwen Liu, Yifu Cui, Guoqiang Li, Zhilin Shi, and Fahu Chen
Clim. Past, 17, 1395–1407,,, 2021
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17 Jun 2021
Climate indices in historical climate reconstructions: a global state of the art
David J. Nash, George C. D. Adamson, Linden Ashcroft, Martin Bauch, Chantal Camenisch, Dagomar Degroot, Joelle Gergis, Adrian Jusopović, Thomas Labbé, Kuan-Hui Elaine Lin, Sharon D. Nicholson, Qing Pei, María del Rosario Prieto, Ursula Rack, Facundo Rojas, and Sam White
Clim. Past, 17, 1273–1314,,, 2021
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28 Apr 2021
Could phenological records from Chinese poems of the Tang and Song dynasties (618–1279 CE) be reliable evidence of past climate changes?
Yachen Liu, Xiuqi Fang, Junhu Dai, Huanjiong Wang, and Zexing Tao
Clim. Past, 17, 929–950,,, 2021
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07 Apr 2021
Building a long-time series for weather and extreme weather in the Straits Settlements: a multi-disciplinary approach to the archives of societies
Fiona Williamson
Clim. Past, 17, 791–803,,, 2021
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14 Jan 2021
Evaluating the utility of qualitative personal diaries in precipitation reconstruction in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Alice Harvey-Fishenden and Neil Macdonald
Clim. Past, 17, 133–149,,, 2021
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21 Oct 2020
Synthetic weather diaries: concept and application to Swiss weather in 1816
Stefan Brönnimann
Clim. Past, 16, 1937–1952,,, 2020
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06 Oct 2020
Climate records in ancient Chinese diaries and their application in historical climate reconstruction – a case study of Yunshan Diary
Siying Chen, Yun Su, Xiuqi Fang, and Jia He
Clim. Past, 16, 1873–1887,,, 2020
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