Andes Research

Climate History


Mount Huascarán's southern summit (6,768 meters) is the highest point in Peru. The peak looms over Yungay and is also clearly visible from the city of Huaraz.

Environmental historians have paid more attention to weather, meteorology, and weather-related disasters like hurricanes than they have to climate or climate change. 

Yet human-climate interactions have always been important for societies, and historians ought to be much more involved in ongoing global warming discussions.  They can provide relevant past examples of climate adaptation and maladaptation—after all, scientists studying climate change always look to the past to understand the future.  Historians can also help contextualize current debates about global warming. 

Carey's research strives to achieve all of these goals, and he has also written a forthcoming article on the state of the field to help organize scholarship and push it in new directions.  In particular, he shows the need for more research on the cultural dimensions of human-climate interactions.

Related Publications

Mark Carey and Philip Garone, "Forum Introduction: Climate Change and Environmental History," Environmental History 19, no. 2 (April 2014): 282-293 (co-editor of Special Forum Issue and co-author of the introductory article).

Mark Carey, "Science, Models, and Historians: Toward a Critical Climate History," Environmental History 19, no. 2 (April 2014): 354-364.

Carey, Mark. "Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History," in Oxford Handbook of Environmental History, ed., Andrew Isenberg (New York: Oxford University Press, in press).

Carey, Mark. "Climate and History: A Critical Review of Historical Climatology and Climate Change Historiography," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews – Climate Change 3, no. 3 (2012): 233-249.

Carey, Mark. "Inventing Caribbean Climates: How Science, Medicine, and Tourism Changed Tropical Weather from Deadly to Healthy," Osiris 26, no. 1 (2011): 129-141.