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10/07/2019 - 10/08/2019 | Leipzig

Integrating documentary evidence into climate reconstruction and impact studies

2nd CRIAS Workshop

The second workshop continues what was initiated during the kick-off workshop in 2018. The group focusing on an overview and best practices for generating climate indices from documentary evidence will meet to discuss intermediate results; the same applies for the group preparing a special issue on comparing methods in historical climatology in Europe and China.

To enhance participation in these groups, we will specifically address specialists outside Europe to participate and present their fields of expertise. (We are planning a third workshop in 2020 in Hong Kong to focus more closely on this topic.)


The main focus of the meeting is to make advances on the topic of integrating evidence from the archives of societies into climate field reconstructions. Current examples only incorporate indexed temperature values and assume a linear relationship between the index values and the value of the underlying climate parameter. We are currently exploring possibilities for developing Bayesian methods that could draw on the wealth of more uncertain historical evidence which has necessarily been left out in current reconstructions of this type. Chantal Camenisch and Qing Pei will discuss to what extent this approach seems feasible for their respective datasets.

A second focus of the meeting is on new approaches to societal impact of past climate change. The Dantean Anomaly group (Martin Bauch and colleagues) will present a first idea how to apply methods of digital humanities on large corpora of documentary data to identify semantic shifts in written records over decades and centuries. Dagmar Schäfer will present the application of digital tools in the evaluation of local gazetteers from China between 900 and 1900 CE.

The final aspect of the workshop will be to create first contacts for one long-term goal of CRIAS - organizing an exhibition on climate history with a major museum. Although this is planned for a potential second phase of the working group only, it would be necessary to start in contacting potentially interested stakeholders now. It would be necessary to involve researchers from beyond Europe as such an exhibition should be transcultural and provide a global perspective.

Information on participating / attending:


10/07/2019 - 10/08/2019

Event venue:

GWZO, Reichsstraße 4-6 (Specks Hof), 4. Etage
04109 Leipzig

Target group:

Scientists and scholars



Subject areas:

Geosciences, History / archaeology, Social studies

Types of events:

Seminar / workshop / discussion




Virginie Michaels


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Event is free:


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