Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS)

1st Workshop: Methods and interdisciplinary communication in historical climatology

1 – 2 October 2018, University of Bern, Switzerland
Organizing Committee: Chantal Camenisch, Sam White, Martin Bauch, Qing Pei and Christian Rohr



Human-made records - the “archives of societies” - play a unique role in climate reconstruction. They provide precise information from annual to daily resolution, at defined locations, for all seasons. However, the information in archives of society is neither as continuous nor homogenous as that from physical records left by natural processes (the “archives of nature”). The diversity of sources demands a diversity of methods for reconstruction, as well as careful compilation and interpretation to overcome problems of subjectivity and errors in recording and transmission. 
To get the most precise and significant results from historical climatology it is crucial to adopt interdisciplinary approaches and to combine methods and results from archives of societies with those from the archives of nature. Moreover, a combination of societal with natural archives can thus be used for calibration of natural archive proxies.
This workshop aims to evaluate and integrate different methodological approaches from historical climatology over all historical periods (including antiquity) and geographical regions, and to identify and disseminate best practices in the field. Secondly, the workshop aims to promote interdisciplinary collaboration between historical climatologists and (paleo)climatologists, especially by identifying ways to effectively share historical climatology data and combine historical and paleoclimate information in highresolution reconstructions.

Sessions and Program

Submitted contributions cover the following topics:

  • methodological approaches of climate reconstructions based on documentary data (e.g. wine phenology, grain phenology, indices)
  • methodological approaches of modelling climate impacts on past society
  • interdisciplinary approaches combining historical climatology and other disciplines of climatology

Speakers and Institutes

Rudolf Brázdil, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Xiuqi Fang, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Jie Fei, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Andrea Kiss, University of Technology, Austria
Qing Pei, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Kathleen Pribyl, University of East Anglia, UK
Thomas Labbé and Martin Bauch, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Easter Europe, Leipzig, Germany
Chantal Camenisch, Lukas Heinzmann, Melanie Salvisberg and Christian Pfister, University of Bern, Switzerland
Gemma Ives, University of Sheffield, UK
Dagomar Degroot, Georgetown University, USA
Marie-Michèle Ouellet-Bernier, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada