Climate Extremes, Perceived Disasters, and Cultural Transformations

Friday, February 17, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 306 (Hynes Convention Center)
Benjamin Felzer, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Cross-cultural research on the effects of food-destroying natural disasters has relied primarily on ethnographer-reported events rather than empirical climate data. We introduce measures of severity, predictability, and frequency of wet and dry climate extremes over a long time frame using indices derived from weather-station data. We discuss the problems in matching ethnographer reports with climatic indices and compare cross-cultural analyses using ethnographic and climate measures.