The Great Warming by Brian Fagan
Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

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Synopsis

From the 10th to 15th centuries the earth experienced a rise in surface temperature that changed climate worldwide-a preview of today's global warming. In some areas, including much of Western Europe, longer summers brought bountiful crops and population growth that led to cultural flowering. In others, drought shook long-established societies, such as the Maya and the Indians of the American Southwest, whose monumental buildings were left deserted as elaborate social structures collapsed. Brian Fagan examines how subtle changes in the environment had far-reaching effects on human life, in a narrative that sweeps from the Arctic ice cap to the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. The lessons of history suggest we may be yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives today.
 

About Brian Fagan

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Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Beyond the Blue Horizon, Elixir, the Los Angeles Times bestseller Cro-Magnon, and the New York Times bestseller The Great Warming, and many other books. He has decades of experience at sea and is the author of several titles for sailors, including the widely praised Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.
 
Published August 1, 2010 by Bloomsbury USA. 304 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Today’s more densely populated planet, notes the author, with 250 million people living on agriculturally marginal lands, is far more vulnerable to long periods of drought, especially the developing world and such populous areas as Arizona, California and southwestern Asia.

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The New York Times

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“Even without greenhouse gases, the effects of prolonged droughts would be far more catastrophic today than they were even a century ago.” For a spark of hope Mr. Fagan offers the example of Chimor, a kingdom in coastal Peru tormented by El Niño flooding and severe droughts throughout the Mediev...

Mar 21 2008 | Read Full Review of The Great Warming: Climate Ch...

Bookmarks Magazine

The history of the Great Warming of a half millennium ago suggests that we may yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives today—and our vulnerability to drought, writes Fagan, is the “silent elephant in the room.”

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Great Warming: Climate Ch...

New Scientist

Subscribe and save THOSE who deny our role in climate change claim that the existence of a medieval warm period 1000 years ago somehow undermines concerns about global warming.

Mar 15 2008 | Read Full Review of The Great Warming: Climate Ch...

Think Progress

Of course this is not the case, not now, not ever and certainly not in the future, in neo-liberal economies.

May 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Great Warming: Climate Ch...

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