Climate Catastrophe in the 17th century

Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides - the calamities of the mid-seventeenth century were both unprecedented and widespread. A global crisis extended from England to Japan, and from the Russian Empire to sub-Saharan Africa. North and South America, too, suffered turbulence. Changes in the prevailing weather patterns, longer and harsher winters, and cooler and wetter summers - disrupted growing seasons, causing dearth, malnutrition, and disease, along with more deaths and fewer births. Some contemporaries estimated that one-third of the world died.

Geoffrey Parker, distinguished University Professor and Andreas Dorpalen Professor of European History join Dan on the podcast to discuss the sequence of political, economic and social crises that stretched across the 1600s. They discuss the link between climate change and worldwide catastrophe 350 years ago, and the contemporary implications: are we at all prepared today for the catastrophes that climate change could bring tomorrow?

Geoffrey is the author of ‘Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century'.

If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download the History Hit app please go to the Android or Apple store.


See for privacy and opt-out information.