Beyond collapse : climate change and causality during the Middle Holocene Climatic Transition, 6400–5000 years before present

Exploring causal relations : the societal effects of climate change

Auteur(s) et Affiliation(s)

Visiting Research Fellow, School of World Art Studies and Museology, Univ. of East Anglia, Norwich, Royaume-Uni
Dept. of Anthropology, Univ., Copenhagen, Danemark
Waterworlds Research Centre, Univ., Copenhagen, Danemark
Waterworlds Research Centre, Univ., Copenhagen, Danemark

Description :
While there are no precise past analogues for twenty-first century climate change, the Middle Holocene Climatic Transition (MHCT), from about 6400–5000 years B.P., provides us with an example of a period of large-scale global climatic reorganisation, punctuated by episodes of rapid and severe climate change, at a time when human societies were beginning to resemble those of today. A survey of archaeological and palaeo-environmental data from the northern hemisphere subtropics and other regions provides us with evidence for linked climatic, environmental and societal change during the MHCT. This evidence, the strength of which varies with location, allows us to construct convincing narratives of linked climatic, environmental and societal changes that accommodate a variety of responses and outcomes, and that are much more nuanced than narratives of the proposed climate-induced collapse of individual societies. Such synthetic studies that compare contexts across time and space can help us understand human–environment interactions during times of climatic disruption, while allowing for diverse outcomes and avoiding the pitfalls of climatic determinism.

Type de document :
Article de monographie

Source :
Geografisk tidsskrift, issn : 1903-2471, 2012, vol. 112, n°. 2, p. 93-104, nombre de pages : 12, Références bibliographiques : 3 p.

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Editeur :
Pays édition : Danemark, Kobenhavn, Det Kongelige Danske Geografiske Selskab

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