Wine and Volcanoes: Distal socio-economic impacts of big volcanic eruptions, especially on the early modern Swiss viticulture.
The PhD project aims to examine the socio-economic impacts of eruption-related climatic anomalies among Early Modern Swiss agrarian societies, with a special emphasis on vulnerability and resilience dictating the degree of human consequences. The main objective is to investigate, firstly the viticultural responses to volcanic-induced climatic disturbances, and secondly the socio-economic impacts of the thus resulting impacts of wine production fluctuations. The project employs a longitudinal and comparative research approach and uses a variety of annual time-series related to regional climatic, agricultural, and economic fluctuations. Furthermore, novel material on viticulture will be gathered from serial archival sources. These sources are especially promising for examining volcanism-climate-society causalities. Vine cultivation is highly sensitive to climate variability and wine production constituted on the one hand a considerable share of the economic income in certain regions of Early Modern Switzerland and on the other hand was a relevant factor towards the meeting of basic needs.
Hence, it is crucial to carefully investigate the vulnerability of viticulture to climate change, the long-term development of climate-society interactions and coping strategies for the impacts of volcanic eruptions and furthermore to provide varied climate proxy data from viticultural material for further climatological studies.