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Book Sections Year : 2019

Visualising Climate and Climate Change: A longue durée Perspective


This chapter explores the challenging terrain of images and scientific visualisations as a way of investigating and understanding climate and climate change within the context of society and culture. I retain the notions of images and visualisations here, as opposed to representation, in order to avoid the numerous metaphysical connotations the action of ‘re-presenting’may imply (Rheinberger 2001). Visualisation in the context of climate change is thus understood as a means of knowledge construction, and it necessarily implies imagination, political sensibilities, as well as material actions. My focus here will be on spatial visualisations of climate in the form of maps and in particular the history of climate classifications. The study draws mainly on a systematic investigation of several important scientific map collections, complemented by careful readings of several influential scientific treaties on meteorology and climate, as well as a critical survey of the available historical literature on climate and its cultural understandings. 1 Some of the questions I would like to address here are: What would a longue durée history of climate visualisations look like? What can graphs and maps tell us about a changing climate and its history? And more importantly, what can we learn from such a longue durée visual perspective, in particular within the contemporary context of anthropogenic climate change?
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hal-02297728 , version 1 (26-09-2019)
hal-02297728 , version 2 (30-09-2019)



Sebastian Grevsmühl. Visualising Climate and Climate Change: A longue durée Perspective. Giuseppe Feola; Hilary Geoghegan; Alex Arnall. Climate and Culture: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on a Warming World, Cambridge University Press, pp.46-67, 2019, 9781108422505. ⟨10.1017/9781108505284.004⟩. ⟨hal-02297728v2⟩
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