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Climate Change and Social Unrest: A 6,000‐Year Chronicle From the Eastern Mediterranean

Abstract : The history of the Eastern Mediterranean is punctuated by major crises that have influenced many of the region's established socioeconomic models. Recent studies have underscored the role of drought and temperature oscillations in driving changes but attempts to quantify their magnitude remain equivocal, hindering long‐term assessments of the potential interplay between climate and society. Here, we fill this knowledge gap using a 6,000‐year pollen‐based reconstruction of temperature and precipitation from Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus. We find that major social changes and plague outbreaks often occurred in tandem with cooler climate conditions, with anomalies ranging from −3 ± 0.4 °C to −1 ± 0.5 °C, coupled with changing precipitation patterns. We suggest that major climate changes may weaken societies by affecting primary livelihood systems. This long‐term view highlights recurrent cold periods in the Eastern Mediterranean's climate history and advocates that, despite frequent adversity and pandemics, Near Eastern populations adapted and were ultimately resilient to major climate changes
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Contributor : Théoriser Et Modéliser Pour Aménager (umr 6049) Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 4, 2020 - 2:42:02 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 2:35:41 AM


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Kaniewski David, Nick Marriner, Rachid Cheddadi, Peter M. Fischer, Thierry Otto, et al.. Climate Change and Social Unrest: A 6,000‐Year Chronicle From the Eastern Mediterranean. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2020, 47 (7), ⟨10.1029/2020GL087496⟩. ⟨hal-02562181⟩



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