An extensive study of the trees around Europe may have exposed a link between sudden changes in the European climate and the falling of past civilizations.
The study, published in the journal Science, documented the findings of a team of researchers gathering data from some 9000 wooden artifacts going back 2500 years.
"Looking back on 2,500 years, there are examples where climate change impacted human history," co-author Ulf Buntgen, a paleoclimatologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, told the Science website.
According to an article on the matter by the BBC:
The team capitalized on a system used to date material unearthed during excavations.
"Archaeologists have developed oak ring width chronologies from Central Europe that cover nearly the entire Holocene and have used them for the purpose of dating artifacts, historical buildings, antique artwork and furniture," they wrote.
"Chronologies of living and relict oaks may reflect distinct patterns of summer precipitation and drought."
The team looked at how weather over the past couple of centuries affected living trees' growth rings.
During good growing seasons, when water and nutrients are in plentiful supply, trees form broad rings, with their boundaries relatively far apart.
But in unfavorable conditions, such as drought, the rings grow in much tighter formation.
Once a chronological order could be established to the various ring samples, the researchers were able to then link the prosperity levels marked on the wood to key moments in the histories of past societies, such as ancient Rome.
"Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from 250-600 AD coincided with the demise of the Western Roman Empire and the turmoil of the migration period," the team stated in their report.
"Distinct drying in the 3rd Century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul."
Doomed to Repeat...
Evidence that directly links the rises and falls of a civilization to the stability and favorability of their local climate...
If anything, this study provides more evidence to the claims that it is a cyclical pattern, not humanity, which is causing the sudden changes to our climates-, be it for long or short periods of time.
It also shows that these changes can be devastating to a civilization and that in order to fair the storms, preparations should be taken.Learn from history my friends... learn from history...