Skip to content

Climate history may explain empires’ fall

December 5, 2008
clipped from
An analysis of rings on a stalagmite from a cave near Jerusalem reveals a drier climate in the region at a time in history when the Roman and Byzantine empires were in decline, scientists reported
University of Wisconsin geologists analyzed the chemical composition of individual rings as small as one-hundredth of a millimeter across that formed the stalagmite growing up from the floor of the Soreq Cave near Jerusalem between 200 B.C. and 1100 A.D
Geologists John Valley and Ian Orland concluded the climate was drier in the eastern Mediterranean between 100 A.D. and 700 A.D., with steep drops in rainfall around 100 A.D. and 400 A.D. — a period of waning Roman and Byzantine power in the region
The team is now applying the same geochemical technique to examine older samples from the cave from the time of the last glacial retreat roughly 19,000 years ago, to help understand how weather patterns respond to fast-warming temperatures
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: