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Climate Change May Have Driven Maya Civilization To Collapse

There is no question that climate change has definitely been one of the hottest topics of discussion over the past few decades. Potential rising of temperature might cause increase in sea level, change in weather patterns, extinction of important species and desertification.

Douglas Kennet, an anthropologist at Penn State University, has led a team of scientists to establish whether climate change has been the reason for the collapse of Maya civilization, in an attempt to find patterns that can aid modern society.

For the study published in Science last week, the team analyzed climate records from the past 2000 years, and relating changes between wet and dry period with development of Maya cities in the area of modern-day Belize. The climate data was derived from stalagmites in caves and linked to the numerous archaeological evidence left by the ancient civilization.

Although the reasons behind modern and past climate change are different, the effect this rise in temperature causes should be the same. Natural undulating weather patterns brought extreme moisture, which stimulated the growth of the Mayas. During this wet period, agriculture was blooming.

The following drought that lasted several centuries, however, the resources became scarce.  This ruined the authority of the kings and caused political collapse and migration. The wrongly implemented agricultural practices led to severe soil erosion and desertification of land.

Kennett, the publication’s lead author, warns that nowadays we can observe similar patterns, where undermined agricultural systems can affect populations and cause history to repeat itself in many regions around the world.

Via: Clean Technica

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About the author

Mila is a researcher and scientist with a great passion for soils, rocks, plants, water and all environment-related aspects of our surroundings. For the past 10 years, during the course of her educational and professional development, she travelled all over Europe, Africa and Asia, driven by her passion for the environment and urge to seek challenges.

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Comments

  • Joe Matthis

    I love conversations concerning climate change it’s like someone waking up in the morning and saying global warming happens mostly during the day. Well duh! Look people the climate on this planet has been in flux since the beginning. Long before man had any impact on anything. The question is do we have an impact….the answer is of course but so does everything else. The real point to be made is what are you going to do about it? The real answer is that you have such a little input into the grand scheme of things that it wont matter. The objective here is to CYA and say your part of the solution and not the problem. Good luck with that. You cant stop the moon from receding from the Earth, you can not stop continental drift or tektonic plate movement, you can not control the weather, or prevent volcanos from erupting. You are an ant riding an elephant and for some reason you think you can steer. My suggestion is for all of us to adapt and stop trying to control things beyond our reach.

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