Climate Change and Big History: From the Origin of Modern Humanity to the Little Ice Age

AHA Session 140
Saturday, January 5, 2013: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Napoleon Ballroom D2 (Sheraton New Orleans)
John R. McNeill, Georgetown University
Climate as a Factor in Migration and Social Change, 200,000 to 5000 Years Ago
Patrick Manning, University of Pittsburgh; Aubrey Hillman, University of Pittsburgh
Bruce M. S. Campbell, Queen's University of Belfast and Mark A. Cane, Columbia University

Session Abstract

Two papers by senior historians look at the very long term of climate and the human condition. Professor Manning focuses especially on spatial change in climate, tracing the ways changing climate facilitated or redirected migration, especially in the years of human settlement of the earth from some 70,000 to 10,000 years ago. Professor Brooke focuses on the last six millennia and emphasizes abrupt, punctuated change in climate, as solar fluctuations and volcanism combined to bring occasionally deep shocks of cooling, up to and including the Little Ice Age, stressing their importance for the periodization of the long sweep of human history since the rise of the state.

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