Asia is home to the majority of mankind and is increasingly the center of the global economy, yet it remains vulnerable to changes in monsoon intensity through time. The archaeological record suggests that the settlement of this continent and the thriving and demise of urban civilizations has been influenced, at least in part, by past changes in the strength and variability of summer rains. Despite improved modern technology, the need for water for agriculture, for human consumption, and for industrial uses means that the supply of water, which is often dominated by the summer rains, remains crucial to supporting populations.

The objective of this conference will be to examine in detail the geological and historical records of climate change and assess how past climate change has exerted pressure on human development, and understand how and why the climate has changed. By summarizing what is known about the controls on the monsoon climate we aim to estimate how this phenomenon might change in the near future under the pressure of global climate change. Bringing together climate and geological scientists, archaeologists, economists, and policymakers, we aim to understand how mankind and the monsoon have evolved together in the past and what can be done to mitigate future changes in the environment. We aim to provide discussion and input to policy stakeholders prior to the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held in Paris, France.