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CRIAS 1st workshop: Methods and Interdisciplinary Communication in Historical Climatology

Bern, Switzerland
Workshop report
Contact person
Chantal Camenisch
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

The Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS) working group will hold its first workshop, titled "Methods and Interdisciplinary Communication in Historical Climatology", from 1-2 October 2018 in Bern, Switzerland.


2nd Floor
Hallerstrasse 6, Bern


This workshop is held in conjunction with the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR). It is an open workshop for approximately 30 participants.

The two-day workshop consists of various sessions. In each session, there will be 3-4 presentations, followed by a discussion. The workshop language is English.


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, information in archives of society is rarely as continuous or homogenous as that from physical records left by natural processes (the "archives of nature").

This diversity of sources requires a diversity of methods, including careful compilation and interpretation, to overcome problems of subjectivity and errors in recording and transmission. To achieve precise, year-round climate and weather reconstructions at a human scale, it is crucial to adopt interdisciplinary approaches and to combine the archives of societies and the archives of nature.

Workshop aims

This workshop aims to evaluate and integrate different methodological approaches from historical climatology over all historical periods (including antiquity) and all geographical regions. A particular focus of this and future CRIAS workshops will be to compare methods from European and Chinese historical climatology in order to the establish the compatibility of their results and 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 high-resolution reconstructions.

The main purpose of the workshop is to discuss the methods applied in Historical Climatology and how we can adopt interdisciplinary approaches and combine methods and results from archives of societies with those from the archives of nature.

Key speakers and participants

CRIAS steering committee and workshop organizers:
Sam White, Ohio State University, Columbus; Martin Bauch, Leibniz Institute for History & Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig, Germany; Qing Pei, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; and Chantal Camenisch, University of Bern, Switzerland

Confirmed speakers:
Rudolf Brázdil, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Heli Huhtamaa, University of Bern and University of Heidelberg, Germany
Rüdiger Glaser, Albert Ludwigs Universität, Freiburg, Germany
Xiuqi Fang, Beijing Normal University, China
Jie Fei, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei


Contributions are invited from from all fields dealing with:

- 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.

Abstracts and registration

Presenters of accepted papers are asked to speak for 15-20 minutes. Proposed papers are to be submitted together with the registration.

The registration fee of CHF 100 (no student discount) includes workshop registration, materials, coffee breaks, and lunch on both days.

Deadline for abstract submission is 24 June 2018.

Deadline for registration without proposed paper is 20 September 2018.

Online registration opens from 25 May 2018:

Further information

Questions can be sent to meeting organizer Chantal Camenisch: