Historical Climatology is dealing mainly with written or pictorial documentary evidence and using the methodology of both climatology and (environmental) history. Its aim is to:
- Reconstruction of past weather and climate: Reconstruct the past weather and climate of the period prior to the foundation of national meteorological services networks in the late 19th century.
- Vulnerability analysis of past societies: Investigate the vulnerability of past economies and societies to climate variations, climatic extremes and nature-induced disasters.
- Knowledge and perception history of climate: Explore the debates on and social representations of the climate. A first historical survey of the meteorological observations in Switzerland during the 18th and 19th centuries has been published in 1909 by Julius Maurer, Rudolf Billwiler and Clemens Hess.
Presence of four generations of historical climatologists at the conference of the „European Society for Environmental History“ (ESEH) in Munich 2013: (from left to right) Rudolf Brázdil, Brno (*1951), Christian Pfister, Bern (*1944), Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (*1929) at the speaker’s desk, Franz Mauelshagen (*1967).