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Resilience and Adaptation in the History of Climate and Society (Shannon Lecture #3) – Online

January 23, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Audience:Alumni, Anyone
Key Contact:History Department
Contact Phone:613-520-2828

event posterJanuary 23: Resilience and Adaptation in the History of Climate and Society

Online lecture

Dagomar Degroot, Georgetown University

The cause and likely magnitude of today’s global warming have no parallel in human history. Yet Earth’s climate has changed repeatedly over the 300,000-year history of our species. This talk will explain how and when it has changed – and how researchers know it has. It will then introduce the History of Climate and Society (HCS), an interdisciplinary field that considers how human populations responded to past climate changes. It will describe popular case studies in the field that identify vulnerability to climate change in past populations and focus on examples of crisis and collapse. It will then introduce new research in the disciplines of archaeology and history that uncovers examples of resilience to climate change in past populations. It will describe a series of strategies that these populations used to endure, adapt to, and even exploit past climate changes, and it will consider the extent to which we can learn from them.


Dagomar Degroot is an associate professor of environmental history at Georgetown University. His first book, The Frigid Golden Age, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018 and named by the Financial Times as one of the ten best history books of that year. His next book, Ripples in the Cosmic Ocean, is under contract with Harvard University Press and Viking. He publishes equally in historical and scientific journals, including Nature and the American Historical Review, and writes for a popular audience in, for example, the Washington PostAeon Magazine, and The Conversation. He maintains popular online resources on the history of climate change, including the podcast Climate History. He has shared the unique perspectives of the past with policymakers, corporate leaders, and journalists in many countries, from Wuhan to Washington, DC.

Co-presented with the support of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.