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CfP: Historical Climatology in the Context of Human and Environmental History of the South-Eastern Europe, the Carpathian Basin and the Eastern Alps

The journal Economic and Ecohistory opened the call for papers for its 2020 special issue Historical Climatology in the Context of Human and Environmental History of the South-Eastern Europe, the Carpathian Basin and the Eastern Alps. We kindly ask all potential authors to have a look at the attachment. Please inform the editors that you plan to contribute by early October 2019, deadline for submission of complete manuscripts is 1 April 2020.
 

 

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New Natures - Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies

New Natures broadens the dialogue between the disciplines of science and technology studies (STS) and environmental history in hopes of deepening and even transforming understandings of human-nature interactions. The volume presents richly developed historical studies that explicitly engage with key STS theories, offering models for how these theories can help crystallize central lessons from empirical histories, facilitate comparative analysis, and provide a language for complicated historical phenomena. Overall, the collection exemplifies the fruitfulness of cross-disciplinary thinking.
 
The chapters follow three central themes: ways of knowing, or how knowledge is produced and how this mediates our understanding of the environment; constructions of environmental expertise, showing how expertise is evaluated according to categories, categorization, hierarchies, and the power afforded to expertise; and lastly, an analysis of networks, mobilities, and boundaries, demonstrating how knowledge is both diffused and constrained and what this means for humans and the environment.
 
Contributors explore these themes by discussing a wide array of topics, including farming, forestry, indigenous land management, ecological science, pollution, trade, energy, and outer space, among others. The epilogue, by the eminent environmental historian Sverker Sörlin, views the deep entanglements of humans and nature in contemporary urbanity and argues we should preserve this relationship in the future. Additionally, the volume looks to extend the valuable conversation between STS and environmental history to wider communities that include policy makers and other stakeholders, as many of the issues raised can inform future courses of action.

 

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"O clima do Noroeste de Portugal (1600-1855): dos discursos aos impactos / The climate of Northwest Portugal (1600-1855): from discourses to impacts", by Luís Pedro Silva (University of Porto, Portugal)

Resumo: O presente trabalho centra-se na análise do clima e dos estados do tempo no Noroeste de Portugal, entre o início do século XVII e meados do século XIX. O tema escolhido decorre de um problema de fundo: em que medida as variações climáticas e os extremos hidrometeorológicos marcaram as condições ecossistémicas e o quadro de vida das populações? A partir do problema enunciado, formulámos três objetivos centrais, a saber: (i) identificar as principais anomalias térmicas e pluviométricas ocorridas no período e no espaço em questão; (ii) avaliar o impacto das perturbações meteorológicas/climáticas em diferentes processos ambientais, económicos, sociais e culturais da região; (iii) explorar as imagens e as representações sociais construídas em torno deste tipo de fenómenos. Para atingir os objetivos propostos, recorremos a um conjunto diversificado de fontes documentais escritas (particulares e institucionais) e a diferentes tipos de informação (qualitativa e quantitativa). A sua compilação, ordenação e análise proporcionou uma quantidade significativa de dados de grande interesse sobre eventos meteorológicos adversos, que submetemos a diferentes soluções metodológicas e convertemos em indicadores do comportamento climático. As conclusões deste trabalho apontam para o reconhecimento de que as variações climáticas e os extremos hidrometeorológicos tiveram um impacto significativo nos sistemas naturais e humanos, interferindo de forma mais ou menos direta nos recursos ambientais, na produção e no preço dos alimentos, no abastecimento de água, nas infraestruturas, na morbilidade e mortalidade e em muitos outros processos.

Abstract: The present work focuses on the analysis of climate and weather conditions in the Northwest of Portugal, between the beginning of the seventeenth century and the mid-nineteenth century. The fundamental problem that we discuss is the following: to what extent has climate variations and hydrometeorological extremes influenced the environmental conditions and the living conditions of populations? Three research objectives emerged from our initial question: (i) identify the main temperature and rainfall anomalies occurred in the period and in the study space; (ii) to assess the impact of meteorological/climatic disturbances on different environmental, economic, social and cultural processes in the region; (iii) explore the images and social representations built around this type of phenomena. To achieve the proposed objectives, we use a diverse set of documentary sources (private and institutional) and different types of information (qualitative and quantitative). Their compilation, ordering and analysis provided a significant amount of data of great interest on adverse meteorological phenomena, that we submitted to different methodological solutions and converted them into indicators of the climatic behavior. The conclusions of this work point to the fact that climate variations and hydrometeorological extremes had a significant impact on natural and human systems, interfering in a more or less direct way in environmental resources, production and price food, water supply, infrastructure, morbidity and mortality, and many other processes.

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New PhD thesis on Historical Climatology

Friday, June 21 2019, PhD-student and REPORT(H)A member Luís Pedro Silva defended his PhD-thesis "O clima do Noroeste de Portugal (1600-1855): dos discursos aos impactos / The climate of Northwest Portugal (1600-1855): from discourses to impacts" at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of University of Porto.
 
This PhD-project, supervised by professor Inês Amorim and professor João Garcia, targeted the following aims:
- identify the main temperature and rainfall anomalies occurred in the Northwest Portugal, between 1600-1855;
- to assess the impact of meteorological/climatic disturbances on different environmental, economic, social and cultural processes in the region;
- explore the images and social representations built around this type of phenomena.
 
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