Heli Huhtamaa

Heli Huhtamaa
Universität Bern | UniBe

PhD

About

27
Publications
11,136
Reads
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386
Citations
Citations since 2016
25 Research Items
391 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
I am conducting research in climate history: the relationships between humans and climate in the past. My research investigates both side of this relationship: 1) how climatic changes have influenced human well-being and livelihoods in history and 2) how humans have adapted to past climatic changes and extremes. My research focuses mostly on the Nordic countries and North-East Europe, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - July 2018
Utrecht University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2014 - January 2017
University of Eastern Finland
Position
  • Early stage researcher

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
Past volcanic eruptions and their climatic impacts have been linked increasingly with co-occurring societal crises – like crop failures and famines – in recent research. Yet, as many of the volcanic cooling studies have a supra-regional or hemispheric focus, establishing pathways from climatic effects of an eruption to human repercussions has remai...
Article
Full-text available
The mid-17th century is characterized by a cluster of explosive volcanic eruptions in the 1630s and 1640s, climatic conditions culminating in the Maunder Minimum, and political instability and famine in regions of western and northern Europe as well as China and Japan. This contribution investigates the sources of the eruptions of the 1630s and 164...
Article
Full-text available
Paleoclimate reconstructions have identified a period of exceptional summer and winter cooling in the North Atlantic region following the eruption of the tropical volcano Huaynaputina (Peru) in 1600 CE. A previous study based on numerical climate simulations has indicated a potential mechanism for the persistent cooling in a slowdown of the North A...
Preprint
Full-text available
The mid-17th century is characterized by a cluster of explosive volcanic eruptions in the 1630s and 1640s, deteriorating climatic conditions culminating in the Maunder Minimum as well as political instability and famine in regions of Western and Northern Europe as well as China and Japan. This contribution investigates the sources of the eruptions...
Preprint
Full-text available
Past volcanic eruptions and their climatic impacts have been linked increasingly with co-occurring societal crises – like crop failures and famines – in recent research. Yet, as many of the volcanic cooling studies have a supra-regional or hemispheric focus, establishing pathways from climatic effects of an eruption to human repercussions has remai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Paleoclimate reconstructions identify a period of exceptional summer and winter cooling in the North Atlantic region following the eruption of the tropical volcano Huaynaputina (Peru) in 1600 CE. Numerical climate simulations indicate a possible eruption-induced mechanism for the persistent cooling in a slowdown of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre...
Article
Full-text available
This article assesses the development and current state of climate history research conducted in the five Nordic countries and Estonia. The possible societal impacts of past climatic changes already interested a handful of Nordic historians in the early twentieth century, but the lack of data on past climate fluctuations constrained scholarship in...
Article
In this article, we assess the scholarship of climate history in the former Swedish Realm (roughly, present-day Sweden, Finland, and Estonia) during the early modern period. The research has primarily focused on impacts of climate change and variability on human history, but also on producing documentary-based reconstructions of past climate. Recen...
Article
Full-text available
This article evaluates 165 studies from various disciplines, published between 2000 and 2019, which in different ways link past climate variability and change to human history in medieval and early modern Europe (here, c. 700–1815 CE). Within this review, we focus on the identification and interpretation of causal links between changes in climate a...
Article
Full-text available
A large scholarship currently holds that before the onset of anthropogenic global warming, natural climatic changes long provoked subsistence crises and, occasionally, civilizational collapses among human societies. This scholarship, which we term the ‘history of climate and society’ (HCS), is pursued by researchers from a wide range of disciplines...
Article
Full-text available
Combining information from proxy materials stored in natural and man-made archives helps to gain a more comprehensive understanding of past climate-society relationships. This is demonstrated here with an example from tree-ring and tithe data from the 16th- to 17th-century Swedish Realm.
Article
Full-text available
Levänluhta is a unique archaeological site with the remains of nearly a hundred Iron Age individuals found from a water burial in Ostrobothnia, Finland. The strongest climatic downturn of the Common Era, resembling the great Fimbulvinter in Norse mythology, hit these people during the 6th century AD. This study establishes chronological, dietary, a...
Article
Full-text available
A global inventory of early instrumental meteorological measurements is compiled that comprises thousands of mostly nondigitized series, pointing to the potential of weather data rescue.
Chapter
Full-text available
This article demonstrates how tree-ring material can be applied to historical research using the climate-driven crises of the fourteenth century as a case study. Medieval northeastern Europe is a promising case study for such a purpose, because climate-sensitive tree-ring data are readily available for this period and region. Whereas large areas of...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental meteorological measurements from periods prior to the start of national weather services are designated “early instrumental data.” They have played an important role in climate research as they allow daily to decadal variability and changes of temperature, pressure, and precipitation, including extremes, to be addressed. Early instrume...
Chapter
Full-text available
‘The Hunger Years’ [nälkävuodet in Finnish] refers to the Finnish Famine of 1867–1868, which was the last peace-time famine crisis in Western Europe. During these years, approximately eight percent of the population of the Grand Duchy of Finland died from hunger and related diseases. This article explores the climatic and weather conditions underly...
Chapter
The lack of written source material on population and food availability has hindered studies on medieval and early modern food crises in many parts of the world. Examining the case of sixteenth and seventeenth century Finland, this article explores how indirect evidence—so called proxy data—could be used to identify past food crises. The proxies of...
Article
Large tropical volcanic eruptions can have considerable impact on climates and societies far away from the physical source of the eruption. Past examples of how volcanism caused abrupt climatic changes, and how societies responded to such changes, may provide us with potential lessons to help us better prepare for the changes that climate change wi...
Article
Updating archaeological tree-ring collections for calibrations and verifications with instrumental data is an essential step in ‘updating’ also our understanding of the climate signals in archaeological tree-ring data. Here we delve into the Novgorod tree-ring archives by supplementing the classical medieval chronology with tree-ring data from rece...
Article
Lack of documentation on past harvest fluctuations limits the exploration of long-term trends in crop production and agricultural adaptation strategies. A long-term perspective is needed, however, to understand the wide spectrum of potential human responses to environment and climate change. Therefore, we used tree-ring density series as proxy data...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in climate affected human societies throughout the last millennium. While European cold periods in the 17th and 18th century have been assessed in detail, earlier cold periods received much less attention due to sparse information available. New evidence from proxy archives, historical documentary sources and climate model simulations permi...
Article
Full-text available
Throughout the last millennium, mankind was affected by prolonged deviations from the climate mean state. While periods like the Maunder Minimum in the 17th century have been assessed in greater detail, earlier cold periods such as the 15th century received much less attention due to the sparse information available. Based on new evidence from diff...
Article
Climatic factors have affected subsistence strategies throughout human history. In northern Europe and Russia, short-term climatic anomalies and weather extremes are commonly thought to underlie famines in the Middle Ages. However, medieval subsistence crises were not just natural disasters and medieval people were not passive victims of climatic a...
Article
Full-text available
Past agricultural responses to climate variability can helps us to better understand the current and future impacts of climate change on agricultural production. We studied rye (Secale cereale) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) yield responses to temperature fluctuations in Finland during the period 1861–1913. Our analyses demonstrate the high sensitivi...

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