Climate History Network

A network of interdisciplinary scholars studying past climate change

Teaching and Public Communication on Climate

Climate in history is a rapidly expanding field taught by a growing number of scholars.  Whether you’re planning a course on climate or just interested in discussing climate history in a class, please try the teaching links and syllabi on this website below for more ideas on readings, assignments, and methods to communicate climate to a classroom.



For specific questions, try posting to the H-Environment discussion network.

If you’re new to the field, try some of the following readings to get started:

Behringer, Wolfgang. A Cultural History of Climate.  Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010.

Brazdil, Rudolf, Pfister, Christian, et al. “Historical Climatology in Europe – the State of the Art” Climatic Change 70 (2005): 363 – 430.

Carey, Mark. In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Fagan, Brian M. The Little Ice Age: how climate made history, 1300-1850. Boulder: Basic Books, 2000.

Fleming, James Roger. Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Grove, Jean M. Little Ice Ages: Ancient and Modern. London: Routledge, 2004.

Hulme, Mike. Why We Disagree About Climate Change. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Lamb, Hubert. Climate, History, and the Modern World: Second Edition. London: Routledge, 1995.

Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010.

Pfister, Christian, and Rudolf Brázdil, “Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis,” Climatic Change 43:1 (1999), 5-53.

Richards, John F. The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Paul Sabin, “‘The Ultimate Environmental Dilemma’: Making a Place for Historians in the Climate Change and Energy Debates,” Environmental History 15 (2010): 76–93.

Weart, Spencer. The Discovery of Global Warming. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.

White, Sam. The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

White, Sam. “Historians and Climate Change,” AHA Perspectives, October 2012 <>

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