CRIAS 2nd workshop: Integrating documentary evidence into climate reconstruction and impact studies

07.10 - 08.10.2019  
Leipzig, Germany
Contact person:
Martin Bauch, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PAGES' Climate Reconstruction and Impacts from the Archives of Societies (CRIAS) working group will hold its second workshop, titled "Integrating documentary evidence into climate reconstruction and impact studies" from 7-8 October 2019 in Leipzig, Germany.


Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO)
Reichsstraße 4-6
D-04109 Leipzig


This is an open workshop for approximately 20-30 participants.


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.

Financial support

PAGES has provided some financial support to fund the attendance of several early-career researchers and researchers from less-favored countries. Details on how to apply for this support will be made available as soon as possible.


Information and deadlines will be made available as soon as possible.

Further information

Contact organizer Martin Bauch: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.