This highly successful book is a collection of twenty papers, specially written by research workers in the many relevant disciplines. First published in 1985, it was the first major survey of both the methodology of climatic reconstruction and the problem of climate/history interactions, and embodies the results of fruitful co-operation between historians, archaeologists and scientists. It discusses: the climatic information obtainable from the study of chemical isotopes, glaciers, pollen remains, tree rings, archaeological materials and documentary sources; the theoretical and methodological problems involved in assessing the impact of climate and climatic change on past societies; and provides a series of case studies arguing for or against the importance of climatic factors in human affairs in specific economic, social and cultural contexts.
List of contributors; Preface; Part I. Introduction: 1. Past climates and their impact on man: a review M. J. Ingram, G. Farmer and T. M. L. Wigley; Part II. Reconstruction of Past Climates: 2. The use of stable isotope data in climate reconstruction J. Gray; 3. Glaciological evidence of Holocene climatic change S. C. Porter; 4. The use of pollen analysis in the reconstruction of past climates: a review H. J. B. Birks; 5. Reconstructing seasonal to century time scale variations in climate from tree-ring evidence H. C. Fritts, G. R. Lofgren and G. A. Gordon; 6. Archaeological evidence for climatic change during the last 5000 years R. McGhee; 7. The use of documentary sources for the study of past climates M. J. Ingram, D. J. Underhill and G. Farmer; 8. An analysis of the little Ice Age climate in Switzerland and its consequences for agricultural production C. Pfister; 9. The historical climatology of Africa S. E. Nicholson; 10. Drought and floods in China, 1470-1979 Wand Shao-Wu and Zhao Zong-Ci; Part III. Towards a Theory of Climate History Interactions: 11. An approach to the study of the development of climate and its impact in human affairs H. H. Lamb; 12. Short-term climactic fluctuations and their economic role H. Flohn; 13. Climatic change and the agricultural frontier: a research strategy M. L. Parry; 14. History and climate: some economic models J. L. Anderson; 15. Climate and popular unrest in late medieval Castile A. Mackay; Part IV. Climate-History Interactions: Some Case Studies: 16. Climate, environment and history: the case of Roman North Africa B. D. Shaw; 17. The economics of extinction in Norse Greenland T. H. McGovern; 18. Weather and the peasantry of Upper Brittany, 1780-89 D. M. G. Sutherland; 19. Climatic stress and Maine agriculture, 1785-1885 D. C. Smith, H. W. Borns, W. R. Baron and A. E. Bridges; 20. Droughts in India over the last 200 years, and their socio-economic impacts and remedial measures for them D. A. Mooley and G. B. Pant; 21. The effect of climate fluctuations on human populations: two hypotheses M. J. Bowden, R. W. Kates, P. A. Kay, W. E. Riebsame, R. A. Warrick, D. L. Johnson, H. A. Gould and D. Weiner; Author index; Subject index.