The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
The population grows quickly--too quickly. It reaches a tipping point when the previous subsistence level of water and food are now no longer adequate to feed this burgeoning population. Sometimes if the drought is severe and lengthy, the civil authorities do not have time to adjust and their civilization goes under. Other times, when the drought is less severe and less lengthy, these authorities possess enough acumen and foresight to prepare even haltingly a way to preserve water and horde food stuffs to wait out the drought.
Fagan notes that even under the best of circumstance, human beings have showed only a limited capacity to withstand a fickle nature. The lessons that he draws for humanity in the twentieth century are cause for the deepest of concern. The potential for catastrophic famine and culture collapse is higher now than in the past if for no other reason than the same conditions which destroyed populations of much fewer numbers than today are still here, only our populations are much higher than those of the past.
The great warming : climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations
He is not optimistic that humanity in this century can avoid the same unhappy fates of our ancestors. The best that he can hope for is for all cultures today to look to the past so that we can view ourselves as partners with the earth rather than its master. This book takes the reader on a world-wide look at the impact of a prolonged warming period years ago and the severe stressors that different areas and civilizations endured during a to year period of significant climate changes.
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Fagan has identified prolonged droughts as one of the most severe threats that will be faced by societies both rich and poor. These issues, which include severe famines and epidemics, will lead to population losses in large areas of the world. People who are concerned about global warming and climate change should read this book to gain a broader understanding of all the problems to be faced as a result of climatic shifts that we have only a limited ability to adapt to or to mitigate.
I consider this book a necessary reference on these issues.
The Great Warming
My rating went up one star after reading Mr. Fagan's concise summation where he easily and simply ties the ages of his study together. I had originally bought this book to try to grasp a tiny fraction of climatology in the past.
The book does so much more. By no means a simple read, but very comprehensive and well developed. The global change at the beginning of the last millennium is the only historical record we have of the effects of a general global warming. It is a mini-example of what sort of changes can take place with climate change. While the present global warming will not necessary follow the same pattern, this period should be a warning of the kinds of changes that can take place.
The author is careful to avoid blaming climate change for the fall of civilizations around the world, but he does include it as a factor. Global warming, more accurately called climate change, is not a uniform increase in temperatures, but massive restructure of weather patterns that can change productive agriculture areas into desserts.
It is happening now and will become worse. Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. This gives a great perspective when presented with the current popular press on global warming.
Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Formas de pagamento aceitas: Habilitado Leitor de tela: His books on the interaction of climate and human society have established him as a leading authority on the subject; he lectures frequently around the world. Sidebars explain how scientists determine ancient weather.
Stressing climatic volatility even within a planet-wide warm-up, Fagan delineates the precarious relationship between societies outgrowing their resources. Bountiful to Europe, the warm period was a disastrous drought to more southerly civilizations in Asia, Central America, and southwest North America. Global warming is hardly new; in fact, the very long-term trend began about 12, years ago with the end of the Ice Age. But in many other parts of the world, says Fagan, changing water and air currents led to drought and malnutrition, for instance among the Native Americans of Northern California, whose key acorn harvests largely failed.
Long-term drought contributed to the collapse of the Mayan civilization, and fluctuations in temperature contributed to, and inhibited, Mongol incursions into Europe. Fagan reveals how new research methods like ice borings, satellite observations and computer modeling have sharpened our understanding of meteorological trends in prehistorical times and preliterate cultures. Finally, he notes how times of intense, sustained global warming can have particularly dire consequences; for example, "by , an estimated 2.
Concerns about global warming have caused an increased interest in the history of climate and the influence of climate change on societies.
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Archaeologists, historians, and ecologists have studied past climates for decades, and many of Fagan's previous 24 books have explained aspects of these multidisciplinary studies for a general audience. In the Arctic, Norsemen and Inuit flourished and expanded their territories, and their contacts led to the trade of American walrus ivory for European iron tools. Europe benefited from longer growing periods for crops. However, arid regions on four continents suffered severe droughts that forced some nomads to abandon lands that had previously supported them.
Fagan's chapters explain the kinds of evidence available--dendrochronology, paleobotany, Greenland ice cores, coral growth rings, kitchen middens, historical records--and what that evidence indicates about societies. Fagan emphasizes that concerns about the impact of rising sea-levels have diverted attention from the equally serious impact of widespread droughts.
The Great Warming provides accessible accounts and citations to scholarly sources of evidence. Includes helpful illustrations, maps, and charts. Public, academic, and professional collections, all levels. Egerton emeritus, University of Wisconsin--Parkside. Thank you for using the catalog.
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