"Climate And Societies In The Mediterranean During The Last Two Millennia: Current State Of Knowledge And Research Perspectives"

Dates: 8 et 9 mars 2017
Venue: Aix-en-Provence, MMSH, salle Georges Duby, RdC.
Contact: Nicolas MAUGHAN : 
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This two-day international conference aims to highlight recent and challenging interdisciplinary studies dealing with complex historical climate/society interactions in Mediterranean during the last two millennia. This intriguing relationship mainly results from devastating temperature and/or hydroclimatic effects on the balance between climate and natural or agricultural resources essential to the wellbeing of past urban or rural societies. Coincident economic, political and societal consequences to rapid climate shifts, ranging from inter-annual extremes to century-long trends, have been reported in various biogeographic zones on almost all areas of basin. The study of these existing connections can help in better understanding the role played by past climatic events in the eruption of regional conflicts, in forced migration and displacement of people, in periodically appearing infectious disease outbreaks or in subsistence crises like food shortages and famines. Similarly, it seems necessary to identify and analyze socio-economic and technological responses (e.g. water supply systems) together with mitigation and general adaptation strategies, insofar as they existed, to cope with climate change.

Moreover, this will be an opportunity to make an overview on current knowledge about available historical climatic data from both textual archives and first instrumental records, and to see how gathered informations match with those from proxy records (e.g. tree-ring data) over the period in which they overlap. Major questions about extraction and long-term safeguarding of data (role and value of creating open-access climate database systems), evaluation of quality of informations, statistical methods and data processing according to the nature (e.g. drought indices constructed from rogation/procession ceremony records) and origin of archives will also be discussed.