This article argues for the importance of Europe’s continental empires, Habsburg and Romanov, to the emergence of a physical- dynamical model of the global climate before World War I. It begins to identify a set of questions and methods that were distinctive of climatology as a continental- imperial science of “regionalization” with a global vision. The focus is on studies of mountain climatology by Heinrich von Ficker and A. I. Voeikov in the ecologically vulnerable regions of Tyrol and western Turkestan. This continental- imperial context deserves historians’ attention because it suggests a new model for the globalization of knowledge: not simply a matter of scaling up, globalization must be understood as a process of seeing across scales, of recognizing causal connections between local, regional, and planetary phenomena.
View the paper here: Imperial Climatographies from Tyrol to Turkestan