Article ID: CBB001552862

Climate Change and the Retreat of the Atlantic: The Cameralist Context of Pehr Kalm's Voyage to North America, 1748--51 (2015)


Jonsson, Fredrik Albritton (Author)

William and Mary Quarterly
Volume: 72, no. 1
Issue: 1
Pages: 99-126

Publication Date: 2015
Edition Details: Part of a Series: Climate And Early American History
Language: English

Pehr Kalm's voyage to America in 1748--51 produced a treasure trove of observations about climate, soil, and other matters of natural history. A close reading of Kalm's travel journal, published writings, and correspondence reveals a deep ambivalence about the operation of the natural order in the New World. Kalm's fieldwork and interviews with settlers charted processes of species extirpation, degeneration, soil exhaustion, and climate change. This interest in the environmental impact of settlement reflected in great part Kalm's commitment to cameralist science. Kalm's American voyage was a direct extension of his earlier biosprospecting tours in the Old World. He and his Swedish contemporaries hoped to transform the natural order of the nation through schemes of acclimatization and internal colonization. Such ambitions were in turn framed within a universal history of climate change. Kalm's experience in the New World confirmed the global scope of these processes, while stressing the risk and uncertainty associated with projects of climate improvement. In this sense, Kalm's voyage offers an important yet neglected entry point into the history of climate science.

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Article Chaplin, Joyce E. (2015) Ogres and Omnivores: Early American Historians and Climate History. William and Mary Quarterly (pp. 25-32). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Merriam, Daniel Francis
Golinski, Jan V.
Hodge, Joseph Morgan
Morgan, Ruth A.
Tésio, Stéphanie
Pleasant, Jane Mt
Agricultural History
Environmental History
Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society
Australian Historical Studies
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Environment and History
Cambridge University Press
Yale University Press
College of William and Mary
The author
Climate and climatology
Climate change
Environmental history
Forests and forestry
Kalm, Pehr
Vallisnieri, Antonio
North America
Québec (Canada)
18th century
17th century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
21st century

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