Implication of Climate on Human Development and History

isnap.nd.edu

Implication of Climate on Human Development and History

ong>Implicationong> ong>ofong> ong>Climateong> on Human

Development

Michael Stecyk

1


Overview

• Early hominin development and evolution

• Pleistocene migration out ong>ofong> Africa

• Neolithic revolution

• Antiquity through the Middle Ages

• Industrialization and Revolution

• Role reversal: Ecocide and Al Gore

2


Recipe for Life

1) Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, etc.

2) Lightning/cosmic debris/deep sea vents 1

3) ????

4) Prong>ofong>it

3


http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/region.cfm?rnum=02

Africa 2 4


Early Human Development

• Glacial expansion/contraction and sea levels

• African coasts

• Isolation ong>ofong> groups and fierce competition

• Selection for intelligence? 2 5

http://trendsupdates.com/wp‐content/uploads/2009/06/early‐human‐script1.jpg

http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/0429‐neanderthalsmated‐humans/7803121‐1‐eng‐US/0429‐neanderthals‐mated‐humans_full_380.jpg


Paradise Lost

• Heinrich events—increased freshwater flux

from glaciers

• Ocean density change; thermohaline

circulation altered

• Decreased vegetation in north Africa

• Southern Arabia enters lush pluvial period

• Hominin dispersal enabled 3 6


Whereas Food is Good

• Neolithic Revolution ~8,000‐5,000 BCE

• Areas with favorable climate and soil

• Post‐glacial CO 2 levels (from 180 to 270 ppm)

aided domestication 4

• Diverse economic systems likely determined

by these conditions 5 7


Fertile Crescent and Permanent

Settlements

• Probable first site ong>ofong> food

production 6

• Food surpluses and storage

possible

• Craftsmen and skilled labor

• Barley, other grains

• Alcohol and domesticated yeast 7

• …population increase

http://generation13.net/seaisle/imagesSI/FertileCrescentmap.gif

8


The Iron Age and the Rise ong>ofong> Rome

• Warm temperatures, consistent aboveaverage

precipitation (until ~250 CE)

• Ideal conditions for Roman Kingdom and

Republic

• Temperature depression ~50 BCE 8

• Imperial Rome and the Caesars

9


Trouble for Rome

• Large climate fluctuations

• Political, social, economic

hardship

• 3 rd century: barbarian

invasions, hardship in Gaul

• Constantine and Valentian,

making cool rain 8 10

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_131dsm4xhS8/TFhacVg1CxI/AAAAAAAADKw/lO_MAEFhePc/s1600/NeroCircus.jpg

http://brianakira.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/constantine‐constantinople.jpg


Fall ong>ofong> the Western Roman Empire

• 6 th century: Near‐equatorial volcano

• Above‐average precipitation rapidly declines

• Hemispheric cooling

• Justinian plague and other epidemics

• Food shortages 8 11

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRbIVkPUnrat2uIyhElM5Kmw66EnYGstBWXYAp4BkONUDYfIbgsFA&t=1

http://img1.newser.com/square‐image/109694‐20110331174754/climate‐change‐linked‐to‐fall‐ong>ofong>‐rome.jpeg


Family Feudalism

• 9 th century: conditions similar to Roman

Period

• Reduced climate variability

• Feudal estates—prong>ofong>it in decentralized empire

• Norse colonies and exploration 8 12

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/07_02/Vikings_468x364.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4025/4257122272_960361a103.jpg


…Problem?

• Temperature decline in 17 th and 19 th centuries

• Little Ice Age

• Black Death

• Thirty Years’ War

• Viva La Revolución!

• Settlement abandoment 8

• Britain: wet and cold

http://paradoxdgn.com/junk/viewing/avatars/trollface.jpg/

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THE FUTURE

Presented by Great Britain

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_M7KkIQvB3RI/THBxGLeAjhI/AAAAAAAAB2Y/wRaggnRZd‐E/s400/IndustrialRevolution.jpg

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Industrial Revolution

• What would you do in this kind ong>ofong> weather?

• Innovate! Age ong>ofong> Enlightenment

• Textiles, steam power, metallurgy

• Fossil fuels used on a large scale

• Wealth can be created 9 15


Side Effects ong>ofong> Industrialization

• Urbanization—culture, more innovation

• Improved farming techniques

– Greenhouses and controlled climates possible

– Synthetic fertilizers

• Efficient use ong>ofong> resources

• Higher standards ong>ofong> living 10 16


Ecocide and Role Reversal

• By‐products

– Global warming from greenhouse gases

– Smog and unhealthy urban environments

– Toxic waste

• Energy crises and effects on economy

• Severe climate changes

– Glacial retreat and ocean currents

– Hurricanes 11,12 17


Inconvenient Truths

http://eupnews.com/wp‐content/uploads/2011/02/Al‐Gore.jpg

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Summary

ong>Climateong> had significant impact on human

evolution and migration

• Socio‐political‐economic shifts with changing

climate (Rome, Feudalism, Industrialism)

• Significant human impact on climate

• Efforts to restore previous equilibrium

• Leaving the Holocene epoch?

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Modern Society 2009, 1025, 313‐331.

(2) Compton, J. S. Pleistocene sea‐level fluctuations and human evolution on the southern coastal plain ong>ofong> South

Africa. Quat. Sci. Rev. 2011, 30, 506‐527.

(3) Fleitmann, D.; Burns, S. J.; Pekala, M.; Mangini, A.; Al‐Subbary, A.; Al‐Aowah, M.; Kramers, J.; Matter, A.

Holocene and Pleistocene pluvial periods in Yemen, southern Arabia. Quat. Sci. Rev. 2011, 30, 783‐787.

(4) Cunniff, J.; Charles, M.; Jones, G.; Osborne, C. P. Was low atmospheric CO2 a limiting factor in the origin ong>ofong>

agriculture? Environ. Archaeol. 2010, 15, 113‐123.

(5) Beck, J.; Sieber, A. Is the Spatial Distribution ong>ofong> Mankind's Most Basic Economic Traits Determined by ong>Climateong>

and Soil Alone? PLoS One 2010, 5, e10416.

(6) Carto, S. L.; Weaver, A. J.; Hetherington, R.; Lam, Y.; Wiebe, E. C. Out ong>ofong> Africa and into an ice age: on the role ong>ofong>

global climate change in the late Pleistocene migration ong>ofong> early modern humans out ong>ofong> Africa. J. Hum. Evol.

2009, 56, 139‐151

(7) Legras, J.; Merdinoglu, D.; Cornuet, J.; Karst, F. Bread, beer and wine: Saccharomyces cerevisiae diversity reflects

human history. Mol. Ecol. 2007, 16, 2091‐2102.

(8) Buentgen, U.; Tegel, W.; Nicolussi, K.; McCormick, M.; Frank, D.; Trouet, V.; Kaplan, J. O.; Herzig, F.; Heussner, K.;

Wanner, H.; Luterbacher, J.; Esper, J. 2500 Years ong>ofong> European ong>Climateong> Variability and Human Susceptibility.

Science 2011, 331, 578‐582.

(9) Erb, K.; Gingrich, S.; Krausmann, F.; Haberl, H. Industrialization, Fossil Fuels, and the Transformation ong>ofong> Land Use.

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(10) Robson, B. No City, no Civilization. Trans. Inst. Br. Geogr. 1994, 19, 131‐141.

(11) Botzen, W. J. W.; Gowdy, J. M.; Van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. Cumulative CO2 emissions: shifting International

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