Climate Change and History Research Initiative

  • We are glad to announce that the PAGES (Past Global Changes) Scientific Steering Committee decided to endorse the CCHRI and its activities, pointing out that our activities are closely connected to PAGES activities.
  • We are glad to announce that the recordings from the CCHRI's Pandemics seminar series that took place over the summer (May-June) with Princeton's Medieval Studies are now online!
  • The CCHRI, in partnership with Princeton's Environmental History Lab of the Program in Medieval Studies, and with the generous support of Princeton's Humanities Council, will launches a new series of six online seminars entitled “Past Answers to Current Concerns: Approaches to Understanding Histori
  • In close collaboration with partners from Turkey and Germany, the CCHRI is setting up a new research programme to study the social-environmental dynamics of the Meander valley during the last two thousand years. The Meander - in Turkish, Büyük Menderes - is the longest river of Western Anatolia.
  • During COVID-19 and the disrupted schedules most of us have experienced, the CCHRI has put together a talk series in collaboration with Princeton University's Medieval Studies with the support of the Humanities Council.
  • We are glad to announce that the CCHRI will be running an intensive introductory workshop at ANAMED, Istanbul, in September 2021 (provisionally rescheduled from Sept. 2020 because of COVID-19).
  • We are glad to announce that the application by several members of the CCHRI core team to launch a Pursuit at SESYNC (the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center - US) has been successful. A SESYNC Pursuit consists of a group of interdisciplinary scholars who all focus on the same question.
  • The Princeton University Climate Change and History Research Initiative is delighted to announce the launch of a new series in collaboration with Oxford University Press!   Entitled: Interdisciplinary Approaches to premodern societies and environments, the series aims at a global historical and geographical cov
  • We are glad to announce the CCHRI's research has recently been featured worldwide!
  • As we get ready to wrap up 2019, here is a summary of the CCHRI's activity over the past year:

A comparative approach to climate, environment and society in Eurasia: towards understanding the impact of climate on complex societies

This interdisciplinary project investigates the impact of climatic changes across the last two millennia on societies in two environmentally sensitive areas:

  • The eastern Mediterranean basin (including the Balkans, Anatolia and the Near and Middle East).
  • The eastern Eurasian steppe, in particular Mongolia and the regions north of China.

The main foci of the project are (1) the differential impacts of climate and environmental change on complex societies and state formation and (2) the impact of human society and polities on the environment. 

Two keywords embody the principles upon which the project is founded: consilience and resilience. The former reflects current efforts to integrate natural scientific with social scientific research techniques, methodologies and philosophies in a common effort; the latter reflects the leitmotif of the project, which is to investigate the ways in which climate and environmental stress has impacted on social, economic, political and cultural systems and to illustrate of the outcomes of these impacts. The aims are thus:

  • To expand the understanding of societal transformation and environmental evolution through a detailed historical analysis of the regions in question.
  • To generate new methodologies and research questions by integrating social and natural science approaches.

Through the development of this integrated and approach, the project generates a model of historical-evolutionary change. As noted already, the keyword is socio-cultural resilience, an understanding of the mechanisms underlying which is essential for insight into contemporary environmental change and the possibilities for future planning and policy.

The CCHRI has been operating since 2014/5, and has organized six multidisciplinary colloquia and four introductory workshops in three countries, alongside numerous public lectures. These research activities have resulted in over 50 articles so far.

Upcoming Events

CCHRI at the Eleventh Meeting of the European Society for Environmental History

Fri, Jul 1, 2022 (All day)

Specific date and details TBD

CCHRI at the conference The End of the Roman Climate Optimum and the Disintegration of the Roman Empire