Climate Clues from the Past Prompt a New Look at History
As scientists rapidly improve their ability to decipher past climate upheaval through ice cores and other "proxies,” historians are re-examining previous political and social turmoil and linking it to volcanic eruptions, prolonged droughts, and other disturbances in the natural world.
Great read - I learnt a bunch of history from this one.
“What stunned Manning, an Egyptologist, was that the paper recalibrated earlier chronologies by seven to eight years, so that dates of the eruptions neatly coincided with the timing of well-documented political, social, and military upheavals over three centuries of ancient Egyptian history. The paper also correlated volcanic eruptions with major 6th century A.D. pandemics, famines, and socioeconomic turmoil in Europe, Asia, and Central America. The inescapable conclusion, the paper argued, was that volcanic soot — which cools the earth by shielding its surface from sunlight, adversely affecting growing seasons and causing crop failures — helped drive those crises.
Since then, other scholarly papers relying on paleoclimatic data— most of it drawing on state-of-the-art technologies originally designed to understand climate change — have found innumerable instances when shifts in climate helped trigger social and political tumult and, often, collapses.”Posted on 2021-12-26T22:11:38+0000