Sunday, August 24, 2014

Climate Change Heralded End of Civilizations

Arid landscape in the former 'Fertile Crescent' area of south-west Syria (Credit: Simone Riehl/Tnbingen University) Click to enlarge.
New research supports the growing body of evidence that many past civilizations have collapsed because of climate change.  So is history repeating itself?

Scientists looking at what is known as the "Fertile Crescent" of ancient Mesopotamia have found new evidence that drought caused by climate change brings an end to Civilizations.

It is the latest study that confirms the threat posed to present civilizations in Africa, Asia and parts of the United States by changes in rainfall pattern that could lead to the abandonment of once-fertile areas - and the cities that once were fed by them.

The focus of research by a team from Tübingen University, Germany, is the area currently part of Iraq and the Persian Gulf where the development of ancient agriculture led to the rise of large cities.

Evidence from grain samples up to 12,000 years old shows that while the weather was good, the soil fertile and the irrigation system well managed, civilization grew and prospered.  When [the soil grew infertile or] the climate changed and rainfall became intermittent, agriculture collapsed and the cities were abandoned.

Climate Change Heralded End of Civilizations

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