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Mauelshagen F.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities
Environment and History | Year: 2011

This paper describes part of the early history of crop insurance in Switzerland as a process of adaptation to the hazard of hail. It argues that insurance is a means of socialising hazard through risk sharing and, therefore, that adaptation is an active process influenced by various decisions both within and outside the insurance market. These decisions are as much a part of the story as is the variability of hailstorms in Switzerland. A period of more extreme hailstorms, which challenged insurance provision, occurred between 1920 and 1930 and was linked by reinsurers with climatic change. Examination of this time period will lead to a discussion of insurance in the context of the current debate on global warming, its projected impacts, and possible strategies of adaptation. © 2011 The White Horse Press.

Sommer B.,University of Flensburg | Schad M.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities
Meteorologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2015

Based on the climate scenario presented in this special issue of the Meteorologische Zeitschrift, the paper describes potential societal consequences of climatic changes modelled for Germany in the period 2031/50. Firstly, we deal with possibilities and limitations of modelling societal developments, and explain our preference to rely mainly on qualitative data and descriptions. The second part of the paper describes central societal trends in Germany that are likely to form the background for climatic changes over the next three decades. This is followed by an exemplary examination of possible impacts of climatic changes on technology and infrastructure, which can be expected to stress Germany's current patterns of transport and mobility. The last part of the paper outlines a socially differentiated analysis of climate change impacts, especially the increased probability of extreme heat waves. The analysis shows that, parallel to climate change, societal developments - some mutually reinforcing - will take place, which might increase Germany's vulnerability to weather-related hazards. © 2015 The authors.

Leggewie C.,Justus Liebig University | Leggewie C.,Witten/Herdecke University | Welzer H.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities | Welzer H.,The Interdisciplinary Center
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy | Year: 2010

The dynamics of anthropogenic climate change is not merely a question of natural processes, but first and foremost, a question of economy, society, and culture. The humanities are therefore crucial to analyzing issues like migration, new risks because of extreme weather events, violent conflict, and the impact of global warming on political stability. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Engler S.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities | Engler S.,Justus Liebig University
Erdkunde | Year: 2012

This paper seeks to enhance the methodological and empirical basis of famine data analysis. It will focus on developing a new holistic, network model of famine analysis based on an understanding of vulnerability. This "Famine Vulnerability Analysis Model" will be derived from the study of historical famines of the 14th through the 21st centuries, primarily famines of the Little Ice Age. The model will help to answer questions on what drives famines, the direct impacts they have on affected groups or societies, how these cope and adapt. Using this modern vulnerability concept to analyse historical famines unpacks societal experience of the past for today's regions at risk of famine worldwide and so can foster learning processes.

Engler S.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities | Engler S.,Justus Liebig University | Mauelshagen F.,Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities | Werner J.,Justus Liebig University | Luterbacher J.,Justus Liebig University
Climate of the Past | Year: 2013

The "Great Frost" of 1740 was one of the coldest winters of the eighteenth century and impacted many countries all over Europe. The years 1740-1741 have long been known as a period of general crisis caused by harvest failures, high prices for staple foods, and excess mortality. Vulnerabilities, coping capacities and adaptation processes varied considerably among different countries. This paper investigates the famine of 1740-1741 in Ireland applying a multiindicator model developed specifically for the integration of an analysis of pre-famine vulnerability, the Famine Vulnerability Analysis Model (FVAM). Our focus is on Ireland, because famine has played a more outstanding role in Irish national history than in any other European country, due to the "Great Famine" of 1845-1852 and its long-term demographic effects. Our analysis shows that Ireland was already particularly vulnerable to famine in the first half of the eighteenth century. During and after the experience of hardship in 1740-1741, many Irish moved within Ireland or left the country entirely. We regard migration as a form of adaptation and argue that Irish migration in 1740-1741 should be considered as a case of climate-induced migration. © Author(s) 2013.

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