Relevance to Brit-Am:
Article about the Ancient Frisians some of whom migrated to England.
Illustrates the occasional complete displacement of populations
and their movement to other areas. Not all of these migrations are noticed in
history. Article shows how historically a certain population base may be
identified with another that had occupied the same region before it but was
necessarily related to it.
The case of the Frisians
There is, however, an important reason to doubt this seemingly obvious
continuation of the Frisian
name. Place-name, archaeological and possibly linguistic research has revealed
that major changes swept
the West and North Netherlands coastal region from the 3rd to the 5th century:
in addition to changes
in the material culture, the burial ritual, the construction of houses and
settlements and the naming of
places and regions, most striking is the huge drop in population and perhaps
even the temporary disappearance
of people in many areas. The reasons for this latter phenomenon are not
completely clear, but
deteriorating natural circumstances were probably not decisive, except that some
parts of the coastal
region remained uninhabitable in a somewhat later period. In my view the
depopulation could also be
the result of intertribal raids on relatively unprotected and small scale
societies in an area that was easily
accessible by sea.
3. from Two Articles Concerning
Historical Upheavals and Climate Change.
Relevance to Brit-Am:
Shows the interrelationship of climatic change and historical traumas.
Mongols, Vikings and Romans Connected to
Analysis by Tim Wall
The Mongols conquered one of the largest empires ever starting in the 13th
century AD. In doing so they also slaughtered the populations of many entire
cities, and even whole civilizations, like the Khwarzm in what is now
Without people to farm the land, much of it reverted to forests. Those forests
inhaled large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a
paper published in the journal The Holocene. Those forests may have stockpiled
700 million tons of carbon dioxide, as much as the world's current use of
gasoline produces in a year.
The current rate and scale of climate change are unprecedented in human history,
and another study point out that if humanity does not heed the fate of the
Greenland Vikings and the Roman Empire, civilization may be doomed to repeat the
chaos of collapse.
Rome rose and prospered during a stable, warm, moist period in climate history,
but collapsed during colder, drier, more variable times, according to research
by a team of researchers led by Ulf Buntgen of the Swiss Federal Research
Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, which Emily Sohn of Discovery News
wrote about recently.
An increase in climate variability from 250 AD to 600 AD, coincided with the
spread of the Huns and migrations of Germanic tribes, the researchers said in a
recent issue of Science. They studied preserved tree rings from that time to
determine climate, a science called dendrochronology. During that period, trees
had smaller rings, meaning less yearly growth and harsher conditions.
Historians corroborate the researcher's work. Edward Gibbon wrote in The
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that German tribes crossed a
frozen Rhine River on December 31, 406. Others have noted that the freezing of
the Rhine was speculation, but the research of Buntgen and his team at least
show that the German migrations and invasions coincided with cold weather.
A warm period also coincided with the re-development of organized civilization
in Europe, but another cold period in the 14th century may have aided in the
spread of the bubonic plague, which thrives in cooler conditions. At the same
time, Viking settlements in Greenland disappeared. Cold weather may have made
agriculture and rearing livestock impossible on that giant, ice-covered island.
Atlantic Circulation On the
But wait, isn't the problem now that the climate is getting warmer? Shouldn't
Europe be happy that the climate is getting balmier? The problem is that warmer
average temperatures don't mean warmer temperatures everywhere.
The Sensitive Seasons of Europe
Europe's pleasant climate is caused by an ocean current that brings warm water
from the tropics north. But as the waters in the Arctic get warmer, the
temperature difference that drives that current is breaking down. Other research
has shown a significant decrease just since the 1970's in the strength of one of
the currents involved.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," said the
Spanish-American writer George Santayana. These two studies show that the rise
and fall of human civilizations are often linked to the climate, and that human
activities can affect the climate.
Genghis Khan the GREEN: Invader killed
so many people that carbon levels plummeted
By Daily Mail Reporter
Genghis Khan has been branded the greenest invader in history - after his
murderous conquests killed so many people that huge swathes of cultivated land
returned to forest.
The Mongol leader, who established a vast empire between the 13th and 14th
centuries, helped remove nearly 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere,
claims a new study.
The deaths of 40 million people meant that large areas of cultivated land grew
thick once again with trees, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Originally known as
of the Borjigin,
Genghis was born holding a clot of blood in his hand. His father was khan of a
small tribe, but he was murdered when
was still very young. The new tribal leader wanted nothing to do with
family, so with his mother and five other children,
was cast out and left to die. Of all those in this list, he is the only one to
start with nothing. From the most brutal beginning possible, Genghis survived to
unite the Mongolian tribes and conquer territories as far apart as Afghanistan
and northern China. He left a mountain of skulls that remained for years in
China. Genghis Khan paved the way for his grandson Kublai to become emperor of a
united China and founder of the Yuan dynasty. In all, Genghis conquered almost
four times the lands of Alexander the Great. He is still revered in Mongolia and
in parts of China.
The Carnegie study measured the carbon impact of a number of historical events
that involved a large number of deaths.
Time periods also looked at included the Black Death in Europe, the fall of
China's Ming Dynasty and the conquest of the Americas.
All of these events share a widespread return of forests after a period of
But the bloody Mongol invasion, which lasted a century and a half and led to an
empire that spanned 22 per cent of the Earth's surface, immediately stood out
for its longevity.
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