This project will use archaeological and historical information to examine societal resilience to a catastrophic atmospheric event caused by two volcanic eruptions, one in AD 536, the other in AD 540.  The combination created the greatest concentration of atmospheric dust in recorded history, effectively blocking the sun across much of the Northern Hemisphere for up to 18 months.  Temperatures cooled by roughly 1 degree centigrade, creating widespread social disruption.  The project uses this event as a proxy for the expected atmospheric impact of a limited nuclear war in Europe and seeks to identify strategies of resilience by examining those societies that survived, and failed to survive, the A.D. 536 event. See the following

  • Peregrine, Peter. In press. Political participation and social resilience to the A.D. 536/540 atmospheric catastrophe. In Catastrophes in context, edited by F Riede and P Sheets. New York: Berhahn.
  • Peregrine, Peter N. (2020). Social Resilience to Climate Change during the Late Antique Little Ice Age: A Replication Study. Weather, Climate, and Society, 12(3), 561-573. Click here.
  • Peregrine, Peter N. (2021). Social resilience to nuclear winter: lessons from the Late Antique Little Ice Age. Global Security: Health, Science and Policy 6 (1). Click here


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