Climate and weather discourse in anthropology: From determinism to uncertain futures

Nicole Peterson, Kenneth Broad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents the case of Leukerbad in Switzerland, where author have been working to understand the “social lives” of water and weather over the past decade. It focuses on the impacts of climate change on those water resources and examines climate variability and modeling in the wider context of the Swiss Alps. As with many other locations in the Alps, the retreat of glaciers following the 1850 highstand that marked the end of the Little Ice Age has been a dominant feature of the Leukerbad landscape. Like other Alpine communities, Leukerbad has few natural resources besides water, and its inhabitants made do with minimal-wage labor and small subsistence farms until the 1960s. The short to midrange consequences of altered precipitation patterns for the ski area, as well as the long-term impact of global environmental change on the glaciers that permit a stable flow of water through the Dalatal, both depend on reliable precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnthropology and Climate Change
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Encounters to Actions
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315434766
ISBN (Print)9781598743333
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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