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Samuel White, Kenneth M. Sylvester and Richard Tucker


North American climate history represents a new but rapidly growing field of interdisciplinary research. Relative to Europe and Asia, documentary data for historical climate reconstruction in the present US and Canada remain scarce. However, research into physical climate proxies such as tree rings, the archaeology of Native American (or First Nation) societies, written sources, and early instrumental measurements has begun to extend knowledge of the continent’s past weather and climate and their historical impacts. This chapter presents a brief overview of the historiography and sources for the field, followed by a longer chronological summary of the role of climate and weather in North American history since the first human arrivals.


Edited by Bernd Sommer

Global warming interacts in multiple ways with ecological and social systems in Northern America. While the US and Canada belong to the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, the Arctic north of the continent as well as the Deep South are already affected by a changing climate. In Cultural Dynamics of Climate Change and the Environment in Northern America academics from various fields such as anthropology, art history, educational studies, cultural studies, environmental science, history, political science, and sociology explore society–nature interactions in – culturally as well as ecologically – one of the most diverse regions of the world.
Contributors include: Omer Aijazi, Roland Benedikter, Maxwell T. Boykoff, Eugene Cordero, Martin David, Demetrius Eudell, Michael K. Goodman, Frederic Hanusch, Naotaka Hayashi, Jürgen Heinrichs, Grit Martinez, Antonia Mehnert, Angela G. Mertig, Michael J. Paolisso, Eleonora Rohland, Karin Schürmann, Bernd Sommer, Kenneth M. Sylvester, Anne Marie Todd, Richard Tucker, and Sam White.