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West Asian environment – Little Ice Age to global warming

By |2018-04-25T23:04:59+00:00September 11th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|

Iraqi oil production (2000s AD) In the 1500s AD, a global cooling period known as the Little Ice Age affected people all over the world, from the Navajo and Iroquois in North America to the French in Europe and the Mongols in Central Asia. West Asia was no exception. In the Ottoman Empire, after the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, it was very cold and there [...]

Oil – American science

By |2018-04-24T11:06:04+00:00August 15th, 2017|North America, Science|

A homemade oil lamp Oil is a kind of liquid made out of hydrocarbon molecules. It is mostly fat. Lots of plants and animals make oil. In North America, people got most of their oil from salmon, bison, and sunflowers. In Central America, it was avocados and nuts. In Europe, it was butter and lard from cows and pigs. In North Africa and West Asia, it was olives, and [...]

American environmental change

By |2018-04-08T11:21:52+00:00August 11th, 2017|Environment, North America|

Hunting Passenger Pigeons, about 1800 AD The story of the environment of North America after 1500 AD is one terrible change after another. Shortly after 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America seem to have died. They caught diseases from European people who had been trading with them. By 1700 AD almost nobody lived [...]

High Middle Ages – European history

By |2018-04-12T00:08:13+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Devils torture the damned in Hell (Abbey of Moissac, about 1050 AD) The Seljuks destabilize Europe's neighbors In 1071 AD, the Byzantine Empire lost most of Anatolia (modern Turkey) to the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert. About the same time, the Abbasids lost control of pieces of the Islamic Empire as well. The Seljuks took over the East, and [...]

Bering land bridge – Native Americans

By |2018-11-09T07:05:43+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment, History, Native American|

Bering Strait - today there's ocean, but long ago there it was the Bering land bridge Ocean levels were lower During an Ice Age, when the world is colder, more of the world's water freezes into ice. So less water is in the oceans than before. This makes the level of the oceans [...]

Farming and famine – Climate change

By |2018-04-19T14:44:11+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change: Hunters, bison and aurochs Cave painting from Lascaux, ca. 15,000 BC Climate change encouraged the evolution of the first humans, who probably evolved in Africa as the climate got drier and grasslands replaced jungles. People came down from the trees and evolved to swim and fish. They learned to walk upright [...]

Global warming in modern times

By |2017-06-20T01:27:44+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment, Science|

Coal plant in China Human activities probably started to affect the world's climate as early as about 10,000 BC. That's when people started farming and cut down a whole lot of trees to create their fields. Trees take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. So without them, carbon dioxide levels rose, [...]

Climate change and the Philistines

By |2017-06-20T01:15:45+00:00June 20th, 2017|Africa, Environment, West Asia|

But even as people created the world's first cities and governments, the world continued to get warmer. This may have been caused partly by farming itself. Maybe the farmers cut down too many trees that had been taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. By about 2000 BC, it was so warm that even in [...]

Climate change and world history

By |2018-04-19T14:19:05+00:00June 20th, 2017|Environment|

Climate change and world history: Wildebeest on savannah grasslands, Kenya (Africa) African grasslands emerge In the years just before human beings first evolved, the world was a wetter place than it is now, and a lot of Africa was covered in tropical jungle, full of fruit trees and small animals. But around six [...]

When was the First Intermediate Period? – Ancient Egypt

By |2018-05-08T15:35:00+00:00June 14th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Environment, History|

First Intermediate Period: a time of climate crisis? A Nilometer on Elephantine Island (Nile Valley Tours) - This ancient Egyptian device measured how high the Nile floods were each year. The Old Kingdom collapses The end of the Old Kingdom, around 2100 BC, seems to have been caused by a major climate change.  [...]