The trees can tell: Rise and fall of civilizations linked to climate change
June 11, 2015  //  By:   //  Top News  //  No Comment

Who knew trees are great history documents? There was a study on various tree rings and it was said that these tree rings can tell the link between climate, rise of civilizations and their defeat across Europe. Research teams have been studying a hefty number of wood rings that date back up to the last 2500 years. According to the studies from the 9000 wood rings, in periods where the climate was wet and warm, there was great prosperity in the civilization and whenever there is an unstable climate condition, there are wars and problems in internal affairs.

This study was published by the Journal of science. Ulf Buntgen is a paleoclimatologist who headed the research and stated that the last 2500 years has shown a number of related historical events to climate change. The team of Buntgen used a system of dating the tree rings. These are the oak tree ring chronologies and this method has been used to date various historical and archaeological finds, buildings as well as weapons and artwork. The oak tree rings show various changes whenever it is warm, dry or rainy. Aside from this method, the team also analyzed how weather from the last couple of centuries has actually the rings. When it was a time of bountiful growth, the rings are thicker and the boundaries are more separated. When the conditions are bad, the rings are tighter and thinner.

Using the data, the researchers reconstructed the weather patterns and annual patterns and created and organized database that extends 2500 years. Then, it was used to template and matches the events during those times and how societies were, like the Roman Empire. The prosperous times of the Roman Empire are warm and wet. Around the 250 to 600 AD, there was a sudden increase in the variability of the climate. During that period, the Roman Empire has met its demise and there was massive migration.

Looking at the data, it seems like human experience and civilization is not just a mere work of human experience and innovation. The world itself carries out its own influence in the overall condition of the societies. As of the moment, the rings of the oak trees may still seem too young to analyze to find give us an idea of what is to come but the tree rings do not predict the future. They merely document the present. With extreme weather conditions happening at a perennial moment, should global civilizations be afraid of a forthcoming demise? That is history yet to be told.

Nonetheless, it is interesting how good weather conditions affect human conditions. It is probably true, when someone is under the weather. It is an interesting research that shows how the current conditions of the climate did affect the rise and fall of popular civilizations. Such events, climate changes and the atmosphere are acts that are considered acts of God and have called upon critical decisions in medieval times. For modern man, the events might be coincidental for some but shows an exciting frontier in finding events of the past.

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