© 2018

The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History

  • Sam White
  • Christian Pfister
  • Franz Mauelshagen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Christian Pfister, Sam White, Franz Mauelshagen
    Pages 1-17
  3. Reconstruction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Eduardo Zorita, Sebastian Wagner, Fredrik Schenk
      Pages 21-26
    3. Stefan Brönnimann, Christian Pfister, Sam White
      Pages 27-36
    4. Samuel U. Nussbaumer, Heinz J. Zumbühl
      Pages 93-97
    5. Christian Pfister, Chantal Camenisch, Petr Dobrovolný
      Pages 115-129
    6. Jürg Luterbacher, Eduardo Zorita
      Pages 131-139
    7. Eduardo Zorita, Sebastian Wagner
      Pages 141-148
    8. Naomi Oreskes, Erik Conway, David J. Karoly, Joelle Gergis, Urs Neu, Christian Pfister
      Pages 149-171
  4. Historical Climatology: Periods and Regions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 173-173
    2. John L. Brooke
      Pages 175-182
    3. Peregrine Horden
      Pages 183-188
    4. Quansheng Ge, Zhixin Hao, Jingyun Zheng, Yang Liu
      Pages 189-201

About this book


This handbook offers the first comprehensive, state-of-the-field guide to past weather and climate and their role in human societies. Bringing together dozens of international specialists from the sciences and humanities, this volume describes the methods, sources, and major findings of historical climate reconstruction and impact research.  Its chapters take the reader through each key source of past climate and weather information and each technique of analysis; through each historical period and region of the world; through the major topics of climate and history and core case studies; and finally through the history of climate ideas and science. Using clear, non-technical language, The Palgrave Handbook of Climate History serves as a textbook for students, a reference guide for specialists and an introduction to climate history for scholars and interested readers.


climate history historical Climatology reconstruction Glaciers Global Climate system Holocene Homogenization of instrumental data Temperature indices precipitation indices Global Warming Denial Year without a summer 1816 Meteorology

Editors and affiliations

  • Sam White
    • 1
  • Christian Pfister
    • 2
  • Franz Mauelshagen
    • 3
  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbus, OHUSA
  2. 2.Institute of HistoryOeschger Centre for Climate ChangeBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, University of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

About the editors

Sam White is Associate Professor of Environmental History at the Ohio State University, USA and author of the award-winning book The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire (2011), among other publications. He is also co-founder and director of the Climate History Network.

Christian Pfister is Professor Emeritus and Senior Researcher at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He has published 11 books and more than 200 articles. He is co-founder of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH).

Franz Mauelshagen is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany. He has published several books, including the award-winning Wunderkammer auf Papier (A Cabinet of Curiosities on Paper, 2011), and more than 50 articles on the history of science, disasters, climate, and the Anthropocene. 

Bibliographic information


Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2019

“They provide the most comprehensive treatment to date of historical climate and society interactions and should serve as an excellent source for a range of readers interested in this emerging topic. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.” (J. Schoof, Choice, Vol. 56 (7), March, 2019)