• 201811.17Sat

    Public Symposium “Climate in History, History in Climate”

Date November 17, 2018
13:00 - 16:40, open 12:30
Venue Classroom No.6, International Academic Research Building, 2F, the University of Tokyo

This symposium is aimed at facilitating an interdisciplinary exchange on the topic of climate in history. As increasing attention is paid to climate changes in our modern world, we are witnessing an outpouring of research on climate history from various historical subject fields. This has enriched the reconstruction and understanding of our climate over time through newly uncovered historical materials and evidence. It is thus increasingly obvious that, just as climate has its history, history has been conducted within the context of certain climates.

As C. P. Snow claimed however, ‘two cultures’ divide the sciences and the arts and humanities. This has produced a gap in understanding through a lack, or misunderstanding, of joined-up working. Thus this symposium unites scholars working to bridge this gap in “history in climate, climate in history”. Building this bridge is critical to facing the challenges that climate presents us with today. We hope this symposium will contribute a stone in constructing a bridge over troubled water.

On the occasion of holding the 11th ACRE (Atmospheric Circulation Reconstruction over the Earth) meeting in Tokyo Metropolitan University hosted by Jun Matsumoto, we are able to bring together a number of international scholars to exchange ideas on multi-disciplinary working with Japanese historians, many of whom are increasingly concerned by climate change. A new JSPS project on climate and history has recently commenced under historian Tomoko Shiroyama at the University of Tokyo. The session will involve leading researchers from the sciences and humanities from Japan and from overseas. They will present and discuss their work on past climate reconstruction from their disciplinary perspectives. These scholars will also hold an open dialogue on future research cooperation. The event will be an occasion for positive out-reach activities for the JSPS projects, as well as a good opportunity for a concerned public to hear about cutting-edge research in climate studies.

13:00 – 13:10 Opening speech
Togo Tsukahara (Kobe University)
Co-operation between “History” and “Meteorology/Climatology”
(outlines of an interdisciplinary approach)
13:10 – 14:40 Public Lecture 1
Ed Hawkins (University of Reading)
Unearthing lost weather observations from the early 20th century
Public Lecture 2
Phil Jones and Clive Wilkinson (University of East Anglia)
Finding, scanning and digitizing marine data sources
14:40 – 15:10 Break
15:10 – 15:40 Commentary and Discussion

Rob Allan (Met Office), Fiona Williamson (Singapore Management University)

15:40 – 16:40 Presentation: Work in Progress from recent research by Japanese historian
Tomoko Shiroyama (The University of Tokyo)
Climate, Database, and Spatial Analysis: In Search of A New Historical ResearchDialogue between two representatives of climate/history research
Jun Matsumoto (Tokyo Metropolitan University) and Tomoko Shiroyama., modelated by Togo Tsukahara.
Japanese interpretation will provide for English talks.
  • Admission free.
  • Just for preparation of meeting room and handouts etc, please send e-mail with your name and affiliation:
    Please replace “(at)” to “@”.
  • This symposium is intended not only for the academics, meteorologists/climatologists and professional historians, concerned public and amateurs those who are interested in climate in history and history in climate are all welcome.
  • For media and public notice, also for any inquiry on the details of this symposium, contact is the above-mentioned e-mail. to address to one of the organizer Togo Tsukahara (Kobe University).
  • Hosted by:
    • JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 17H06116 Project: The Hydrosphere and Socioeconomics in Modern Asia – Exploring a New Regional History Using a Database and Spatial Analysis, Tomoko Shiroyama (The University of Tokyo)
    • JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 26220202 Project: Asian monsoon variability during the past 120 years, Jun Matsumoto (Tokyo Metropolitan University)
    • Research Center for Climatology, Tokyo Metropolitan University
  • Supported and organized by Fiona Williamson (Singapore Management University) and Togo Tsukahara (Kobe University, JSPS).
  • A linked event with the 11th Annual Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth (ACRE) meeting.



International Academic Research Building is number 40 in this map.

Access to the University of Tokyo, Hongo Campus

Related links


the 11th ACRE meeting:


The event was a great success. We hope all participating enjoyed it.


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