El Niño and the Nomads: Global Climate, Local Environment, and the Crisis of Pastoralism in Late Ottoman Kurdistan

In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Author: Zozan Pehlivan1
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This article explores the impacts of environmental crises on pastoral nomads in Ottoman Kurdistan/Armenia in the late nineteenth-century. It demonstrates that the climatic fluctuations characterizing these environmental crises were synchronized with global climatic oscillations, specifically the El Niño Southern Oscillation. Recurrent episodes of severe drought and cold dramatically affected these groups, who were unable to withstand extreme changes in temperature and precipitation. Back-to-back drought episodes created a shortage of water, dried up pastures and damaged forage, while severe cold resulted in high rates of premature death among herd animals. These climatic events thus had devastating economic and social consequences.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1160 511 19
Full Text Views 139 85 3
PDF Views & Downloads 224 167 10