Risk-KAN webinar - Past climate change and extreme events

Contact person:
Felix Riede, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Learning from the Past (past4future) Working Group of Future Earth's Knowledge Action Network on Emergent Risks and Extreme Events (Risk-KAN) invites you and interested colleagues to its next webinar on 18 June 2020 at 13:00-14:00 UTC.


This week we’ll hear from two colleagues deeply involved with relevant and closely relates initiatives under the banner of PAGES. There’ll be two short presentations on the overarching challenge of directly and empirically linking past climate change and extreme events records to documentary sources of human impacts.


The Risk-KAN leaders envision these webinars as a way to learn about new ideas and diverse perspectives at the interface between palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, archaeology, and history, and to spark cross-project and cross-disciplinary discussions – not least in relation to the science-policy interface.

Please join the discussion – and let them know if you like to present something yourself in the future.


13:00-13:05: Welcome and introductory remarks/resolving technical issues

13:05-13:25: Blas L. Valero Garcés (Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología-CSIC, Spain)
Can we risk to forget the past?: Past Global Changes (PAGES) initiatives for understanding risks

PAGES, as a bottom-up scientific organization, deals with past events in climate, environments, ecosystems and societies thought working groups and integrated activities. Natural, historical and documentary archives provide records of past extreme events over a wide range of climate and environmental conditions, in particular for hydrological events (floods, droughts and storms), fires and changes in coastal dynamics (hurricanes, tsunamis).

A robust risk assessment of their probability and impacts is only possible by extending the data series using natural and documentary archives. In this talk we will give an overview of PAGES activities related to risk and extreme events assessments and the efforts to identify their occurrence and mechanisms, to improve quantification and data-model comparison, and the always difficult transfer of scientific knowledge to stakeholders and citizens.

13:25-13:45: Sam White (Dept. of History, Ohio State University, USA)
Learning from Histories: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges

Discussions and projections of climate and weather risks naturally draw on insights from historical experiences. However, application of written records and inferred impacts on past societies to present and future scenarios poses major methodological and conceptual challenges, which are often underestimated by social and natural scientists as well as historians.

This presentation will introduce a few of the key problems and basic advice to minimize them. This presentation builds on ongoing work being done by PAGES' CRIAS working group (Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies).

13:45-13:55: Q&A

13:55-14:00: WG housekeeping & networking; announcement of coming webinars – farewell.

How to join

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 695 1539 7267

Join by SIP
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join by H.323
Meeting ID: 695 1539 7267

Further information

The Risk-KAN Learning from the Past co-chairs are Felix Riede, Michael Evans, Luke Harrington and Huw Groucutt.