||The Long Summer
The Long Summer describes the major climatic shifts that have affected humanity since the end of the Ice Age 15,000 years ago. This is a book about sudden warmings and rapid coolings, about how human societies adjusted to sometimes catastrophic climatic events. We learn how people adapted to sudden warming at the end of the Ice Age and how climate changes played a crucial, but hitherto unsuspected, role in the first settlement of the Americas. We discover how hunters in southwestern Asia took up farming when a 1000-year cold snap brought drought that ended as rapidly as it began. We discover how centuries of much drier climate helped found cities in Mesopotamia, brought cattle herders to the gates of Ancient Egypt, and eventually nearly toppled the pharaohs. A revolution in climatology provides new data on the short-term climate changes of the past 5,000 years, on El Nines and monsoon failures, and on catastrophic drought cycles that imploded ancient Maya civilization in Central America, destroyed the great city of Titanic by Lake Titicaca, and brought havoc to Hittite civilization. This book is a survey of 15,000 years of human history with a climatic perspective, unique in it’s melding of ancient climates with changes in human societies that fashioned the world we live in today. Above all, The Long Summer tells a story with important lessons for 21st century society, for a world infinitely more vulnerable to sudden shut downs of the Gulf Stream, major El Nines, and other extreme climatic events. The lessons of the past in this book give us valuable insights for the future.