Tag: floods

Podcast 29: Historical climatology and the cultural memory of extreme weather events

In this episode Professor emeritus in history Christian Pfister, Fellow of the Oeschger Centre of Climate Research at the University of Bern examines the cultural memory of extreme weather events. In the past people experienced extreme weather in different ways depending on whether they lived in an agricultural society, an urban environment or in what profession they worked. Political and religious structures also influenced the response to weather related disasters. This coloured the narrative and memory of past extreme weather events and floods. Pfister demonstrates that this qualitative data is surprisingly objective and can be successfully used for climate reconstruction, producing surprising results.

Website mentioned in this podcast
Social, Economic and Environmental History Section, University of Bern (In German)

Podcast 20: Great Floods of Northumbria, 1771-2008

The theme of this podcast is the history of severe river flooding in the north east of England. With the floods in the town of Morpeth in September 2008 fresh in the minds of people in Northern England it seems appropriate to look back in time to great historic floods and to see whether the rivers of Northumberland have produced even greater floods than those experienced recently. The guest on this podcast is David Archer, a retired hydrologist who worked for Northumbrian Water and the National Rivers Authority, and an expert on the history of floods in the North east of England. He will explore the great floods in the Tyne basin of the past 250 years and even beyond. In addition David will discuss what historical sources are used for the reconstruction of past floods and how such information can be used for current flood risk management.

Map Northeast England

River systems of northeast England and places mentioned in the podcast.

Podcast 5: History of flood defences and waste

This podcast looks at the thousand year history of river flood protection in the Netherlands followed by a report on a conference held at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) exploring the complex nature of the relationship between modernity and waste.

Dutch river defences in historical perspective

After the storm surge flood of 1953 the Dutch water management authorities (Rijkswaterstaat) decided upon an ambitious plan to reinforce and increase the height of all dikes and levies in the Netherlands. This not only included sea defences but also river dikes. The project started in the 1960s but initially only sea defences were reinforced and the river area in the centre of the country was dealt with a few years later. Continue reading