Home » Medieval Climate Change

Medieval Climate: Hiking Along the Vazhenka Rivernin Karelia. Source:123 rfMedieval Climate Change

Since the first books on the Little Ice Age  were published, scientists, historians and archaeologists have explored the shifts in medieval climate from the Roman Optimum to the heatwaves of the 21st century. We bring you an overview here of some of the best scholarship:

Co-Authorship of All Authors writing on the Climate and the Fall of Rome. © Werner Marx et all. Source: WoS/VOS Viewer

Did Climate Change Foster the Decline and Fall?


The story of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is incresingly considered as a reflection of 4thcentury widespread draughts on the Eurasian Steppes, the wanderings of the Huns, and the forced migration of the Germans. Read more

Pomerania. Landscape © MoverOne

Climate and Migrations in Early Medieval Germany


What role did the Early Medieval climate changes play in the creation of the post-Roman world? Did people migrate because of the cooling weather? Read more

Rocca san Silvestro. Source: Museum

Medieval Hilltop Villages and Castles in the Italian Landscape


The history behind the castle-building on hilltops in the medieval Mediterranean landscape – the incastellamento or incastellation – is nuanced Read more

Green Man from Norwich Cathedral. Source: Wikipedia

Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds


Environmentalism covers the ancient idea that environments and climate influences our mentalities. New book offers an introduction Read more

Triumph of Death Wall Painting, ca. 1448, Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo (Photo Rob Cook, 2012)

The Great Transition in the Late Medieval World


New book by Bruce M. S. Campbell on the Great Transition from 13th to the 16th century promises to be the new bible in environmental history Read more

Drought in Syria Worst in 900 years

Syrian Drought Worst in 900 Years


The newly published Old World Drought Atlas was recently used to gauge the seriousness of the Syrian Draught, the like of which has not been seen for 900 years. Read more

Looking down into the Crater of Vesuvius. Source: www.euro-t-guide.com

Medieval Natural Disasters and Resilience


Natural disasters in the Middle Ages were met with resilience in a number of different ways: migration, rebuilding, re-settlements. Read more

Fog in spring Source: picsofcanada/2007

The Double Volcanic Event in AD 536 and AD 540


Severe deterioration of living conditions in Scandinavia in the years AD 536 – 50 was caused by two volcanic explosions following upon each other. Read more

Andreas Achenbach Sunset after a Storm on the Coast of Sicily Met Museum

What Impact Did Climate Have Upon Medieval History?


What impact did climate have on Medieval History? A new crop of studies help to explore the details of the linkage between migrations, wars and much more. Get the overview here Read more

Ruin of Belmont Castle in Israel - Panoramio

Environmental Disasters in the Medieval Levant


BOOK REVIEW: Sarah Kate Raphael explores the interplay between the climate in Medieval Levant and the politics of crusading and warring in the region Read more

Herjolfsnæs © Christian Koch Madsen 2009

The Medieval Warm Period


The medieval warm period (AD 725 – 1025) was characterised by little solar activity and few volcanic eruptions. This resulted in climate stability and economic and demographic growth Read more

Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch Folio 28. The Book of Miracles is in a private collection, but has been published.

Climate History


Historical Climatology is a website dedicated to share interdisciplinary research into historical climate studies with journalists, policymakers, scholars and the general public Read more

Karelia old houses falling apart in Pegrema Karelia

Medieval Climate Shifts and Settlements in North Eastern Europe


Recent studies explore the connection between medieval climate changes and historical migrations in North Eastern Europe bordering the White See Read more

Spatial distribution, magnitude and extension of the warmest 11 yr periods in European summer temperature Environmental Research Letters Volume 11 Number 2

Medieval Summer Temperatures in Europe


Medieval summer temperatures shifted dramatically inside the last 2000 years, shows new studies. Next step is to map the shifts regionally. Read more

Oak tree 123rf - © anton malikov web

Late Antique Little Ice Age AD 536 – 660


New research demonstrates the widespread impact of the climatic shocks in the 6th century creating a Late Antique Littel Ice Age reaching across most of the northern hemisphere Read more

Kallela Lemminkainens Mother

The Dust Veil AD 536


The sun turns black, earth sinks in the sea. Down from heaven, stars are whirled… Thus sang the Seeress (the Völva) to Odin Read more