To provide a central point for discussion of the various issues surrounding Climate Change
Climate Change Study
December 16, 2012 at 9:19 am #174797
Title: Development and Disintegration of Maya Political Systems in Response to Climate Change
The role of climate change in the development and demise of Classic Maya civilization (300 to 1000 C.E.) remains controversial because of the absence of well-dated climate and archaeological sequences. We present a precisely dated subannual climate record for the past 2000 years from Yok Balum Cave, Belize. From comparison of this record with historical events compiled from well-dated stone monuments, we propose that anomalously high rainfall favored unprecedented population expansion and the proliferation of political centers between 440 and 660 C.E. This was followed by a drying trend between 660 and 1000 C.E. that triggered the balkanization of polities, increased warfare, and the asynchronous disintegration of polities, followed by population collapse in the context of an extended drought between 1020 and 1100
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December 16, 2012 at 9:23 am #174803
Additional information from Redorbit.com
Climate Change Influenced Mayan Political Systems
November 9, 2012
There has been a controversy in the scientific community about the role of climate change in the development and subsequent demise of the Maya civilization, which thrived from AD 300 to 1000. The debate has raged because of a lack of well-dated climate and archaeological evidence.
An international team of archaeologists and earth scientists from Pennsylvania State, ETH Zurich and the University of Durham, among others, has compiled a precisely dated, high-resolution climate record dating back over 2,000 years. The findings of this study, published in the journal Science, show how Maya political systems developed and disintegrated in response to climate change.
The research team reconstructed rainfall records from stalagmite samples collected from Yok Balum Cave, located approximately three miles from the ancient city of Uxbenka, which is in the tropical Maya Lowlands of southern Belize. The scientists compared the rich political histories carved on stone monuments at Maya sites throughout the region to their rainfall findings. One type of history in particular that they looked at is called a “war index,” which is a record of hostile events. The war index was compiled by looking at how often certain keywords occurred in Mayan inscriptions, allowing the team to chart how increases in war and unrest were associated with periods of drought.
December 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #174800
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Decades of extreme weather crippled, and ultimately decimated, first the political culture and later the human population of the ancient Maya, according to a study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from UC Davis, Penn State and Switzerland.
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