HEiKA-Project Check Extrema
Climatic extremes in the historical past
Climatic extremes with durations from weeks to months (e.g., extra-ordinary droughts or floods) could trigger innovative reactions that strengthen a society on the long-term or could lead to its collapse in case of lacking response. The interaction between natural influences and human societies has not been sufficiently well analysed so far.
An interdisciplinary approach based on natural and historical archives
Basic knowledge about extent and occurrence of extreme events is still missing for a comprehensive analysis. A limited number of studies have examined extreme events on the basis of historical records or geological archive data. A combination of those archives and a mutual critical analysis, however, is scarce.
The aim of this project is to investigate historical records and geological archives (stalagmites) for extreme events in the Nürnberg area starting in late Medieval times (since 15th century). The focus is on the question if and how each archive contains information about extreme events (indicators, duration, strength). The combined analysis of both archives is a novel approach that is expected to provide effective impulses for the interpretation of each component. In both cases, fundamental research on these aspects will open up new ideas and foster follow-up projects. The interdisciplinary approach enables the mutual examination of the significance of detected events, which will help in developing schemes for the handling of climatic extremes in the modern-day society.
The HEiKA project (funding by the Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership) will be the first step in a deepened cooperation between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe in the area of natural sciences- and humanities-based analysis of climate data and its societal interpretation.