Thursday, January 04, 2007

How Weather Changed History

Live Science has a neat web feature entitled "How Weather Changed History" which briefly sums up Blame It on the Rain by Laura Lee. The online feature gives ten short examples how changes in either weather or climate have altered the course of history. From military history (Russia is mentioned three times!) to cultural history (the Stradivarius violin owns it existence to the Little Ice Age) weather has always played a big role in the tide of time.

Also in the news today was a study by geologists who claim climate shift helped destroy China's Tang dynasty. The claim is that crop failures due to long-term drought added with other variables such as the Islamic invasion, corruption, and of course the Mongol hordes destroyed Tang's China. While one can argue whether or not geologists are the best people to make this call and one can point out the distinct lack of "human caused climate change" back one thousand years ago the moral of the story is weather is a very strong yet unknown force. If a culture can prepare and make plans to adapt before a climate shift the stated culture will be much better off in the future.

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