Offbeat: has there been a man -made climate change earlier?

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They cost countless human life, they plunged world empires, they still influence our lives today - and yet many disasters are not known to the public. WDW about some of the unnoticed incidents in world history.

Dürre durch Klimawandel © Clintspencer/iStock Dürre Due to climate change has there been a man -made climate change earlier?

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next to it is an aqueduct and a temple decorated with writing. Clearly the work of a high culture - and unaffected for centuries. Stephens is a US ambassador and knows the country. Most natives live in simple circumstances and are illiterate.

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So who were the builders - and where did they go? What Stephens has no idea: The ruins are the traces of the first climate disaster made ...

When the Mayan culture disappears in the 9th century, it has existed for 3000 years. It reached the climax in the 6th and 7th centuries. But 200 years later, the climate changes - a dry phase begins.

High Cultures as a victim of self-inflicted climate changes

Sometimes it hardly rains for years. The result: crop failures, hunger and conflicts. The realm of the Maya extends over an area at that time, as large as the Federal Republic of Germany. People live in metropolises with up to 50,000 inhabitants.

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In order to compensate for the lack of food, the Maya do what has always done civilizations of: forests, enlarge and increase its yields. But that is exactly a climatic fire accelerator.

The problem: The ground is drained through the intensification of agriculture. In addition, the cleared areas reflect more sunlight. A domino effect that is sufficient to get the sensitive climate out of balance.

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Tom Sever - the only archaeologist at NASA - explains: "Due to the clear cut, the temperatures rose by up to five degrees - the precipitation decreased by a third at the same time."

The consequence: a hundred -year -old super village. And that leads to famines and political unrest. The population drops rapidly metropolises to ghost cities. In the end,

the homemade climate crash deletes a highly developed culture with written language, mathematics and engineering. The trail of the Maya is lost - until that day when John Stephens begins to dig up their cities again.

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