This panel will explore the use of historical archival approaches to investigate how people have understood, been affected by and have responded to climate variability and extreme weather events through time.
This panel will explore the use of historical archival approaches to investigate how people have understood, been affected by and have responded to climate variability and extreme weather events through time. Specifically, it will focus on how and why particular events become inscribed into the cultural fabric of communities and how they have contributed to community change in a range of historical and cultural contexts. The intention will be to attract papers from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives that draw on a range of case study regions and sites in order to explore these issues in a set of contrasting cultural and environmental contexts and to investigate the degree to which context influences vulnerability and relative adaptability (including failure to adapt). Our premise with this panel is that by investigating these themes historically over centuries it may be possible to trace how perceptions of risk, vulnerability and efforts to increase resilience have changed over time. By establishing local histories of extreme weather events it may be possible to identify patterns revealing the nature, frequency and intensity of past events, with a view to better understanding the likelihood of future events affecting those same areas and communities. Moreover, by exploring how trajectories of vulnerabilities, it will be possible to identify those regions and communities most sensitive to the impacts of future events.