Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 years

Graph of reconstructed temperature (blue), CO2 (green), and dust (red)
from the Vostok ice core for the past 420,000 years, notice the 100,000
year cycle of temperatures

Holocene Thermal Optimum

Temperature: www.scotese.com/climate.htm
CO2: R. A. Berner, 2001, Am J of Science, vol 301, p 182-204
4

Vostok, Antarctica Air Temperature, relative to present, Petit, et al, 1999, Nature

2

0

Deg. C

-2

-4

-6

Δpresent
Temp

-8

18000

16000

14000

12000

10000

8000

6000

4000

2000

0

-10

Years BP

Air Temperature (°C) from Alley, R. B., 2004
-28
-30
-32

Late Glacial
Interstadial
Minoan
Warm
Period

Roman
Warm
Period

-34
Present
Warm -36
Period
-38

Medieval
Warm
Period

Younger Dryas,

Actual
-40 Temp
°C
-42
-44
-46

18

16

“Last Glacial Maximum” or LGM: Peaked from 26,500
yrs BP to 19,000 yrs BP. It was about 100,000 yrs.
long. Characterized by a much lower sea level (120 m
below current levels), cold temperatures (3.5°C to
5.8°C cooler than today) and a very dry and dusty
climate.
19,000

18,000

14

12

15,000

14,000

12,000

13,000

14,500 yrs BP, the
world begins to warm
after the glaciation.

10,000

11,000

8000

9000

7000

11,500

Beginning of the Neolithic
B culture. Houses are
rectangular, with plaster
floors. More
domesticated animals.

Homo floresiensis
goes extinct,
Morwood, Soejono,
2004

Rice cultivation in
China??
Agriculture begins in the
Levant region of SW Asia
(Syria and Israel) by the
Natufians. Possibly the
earliest “sedentary”
culture.

Jericho, Israeli
occupied Palestine,
founded. The worlds
oldest continuously
occupied city.

Earliest Indian
agriculture, Indus
Valley

Earliest dates for Gobekli
Tepe in Anatolia (Southern
Turkey), this settlement is
often considered the
beginning of the Neolithic
period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe
http://www.lakepowell.net/sciencecenter/paleoclimate.htm

Gobekli Tepe, oldest
city/monument known

Catalhoyuk a city of 8,000
exists near present day
Cumra Konya, Turkey.
They were agricultural
and domesticated animals

Black Sea fills
Mean Sea Level, mm, 1874 to 2014
100

mm sea level change

50

5000

4000

Uruk period begins, the
beginning of large scale
cities

Black Sea fills and
connects to
Mediterranean
according to Ryan
et al, 2003

8200 yrs BP
Temp drops 3.3°C in
20 yrs in Greenland,
cool temps last 150
yrs. This marks the
end of the Pre-Pottery
Neolithic “B” period.

4.2 Kyr
Event

3000

Bronze Age

Chalcolithic

In China (Jiahu culture) the
earliest farming (millet and
rice) settlements in China,
Jiahu culture, also earliest
Chinese writing and the
earliest wine.

Gobekli Tepe
deliberately buried

2

Late Uruk period,
cuneiform script begins.

Greek
Dark Age

Ubaid period begins, large
scale irrigation of crops
begins and cotton is
domesticated in India

1

Akkadian empire
collapses

5.9 kiloyear event, Sahara
becomes a desert. Causes
a huge migration from
central Africa to the Nile
valley. This event ended
the Ubaid empire.

Stonehenge built
Pyramid of Djoser
constructed by Imhotep
in Egypt

2000

European
Dark Age

1000

Little Ice
Age

0

Years BP

Iron Age
Earliest known
phonetic alphabet

Earliest Mayan cities
in Central America
7400 BP, Tartaria
tablets, simple
writing

0

Sahara is a desert
6000

Neolithic
12,800

4

Sahara is a savanna or prairie

Paleolithic
Pottery being
made in
China, Wu,
Science, 2012

6

Sahara is a desert

Sahara is a savanna or prairie
16,000

8

Bond Events, Bond, G.; et al. (1997). "A Pervasive Millennial-Scale Cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and Glacial Climates". Science 278 (5341): 1257–1266.
5
4
3
2

6

7

8

17,000

Years BP x 1000

10

-48

Severe drought and war
strikes Middle East, ends
Bronze age civilization.

Roman Warm
Period, this marks
the beginning of
modern civilization
and written world
history

Present
Warm
Period

Maya Golden Age, it
collapses suddenly in
1100 BP

Year without a
summer (1816)

Great famine of 1315

Earliest Harappa (India)
cities

Immediate right: This is the monthly
global temperature anomaly data from
Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr. John Christy,
Global Hydrology and Climate Center, U of
Alabama. We only have true global
atmospheric data since 1979.
Prior to that, surface readings are used to
estimate global temperatures. These
estimates (as anomalies) are shown, since
1850, in the far right graph. There is far
less warming in the southern hemisphere.

0

-50

-100

-150

-200
1874

1894

1914

1934

1954

1974

1994

2014

Year

Recent sea level data from CSIRO (Australia) and Church and White

http://www.schauungen.de/forum/index.php?id=15102
Robert Rohde

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_October_2015_v6.png

Gobekli Tepe,
abandoned and
deliberately buried
Andy May 11/9/2015

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