Climate Change, Political Upheaval and The Fall of the Mayans
Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
New scientific research has been published providing insight into the development and demise of the Mayan political system. An international team of science researchers and archaeologists has compiled a high-resolution climate record covering 2000 years by reconstructing rainfall records using stalagmite samples from a cave near the ancient Mayan city of Uxbenka, in southern Belize. The samples were then compared to carvings depicting the political history of the Mayans, adorning the ancient stone cities throughout the region.
“Unusually high amounts of rainfall favored an increase in food production and an explosion in the population between AD 450 and 660,” said Douglas Kennett, lead author and professor of anthropology at Penn State. “… this salubrious period was followed by a general drying trend lasting four centuries that was punctuated by a series of major droughts that triggered a decline in agricultural productivity and contributed to societal fragmentation and political collapse. The most severe drought (AD 1020 and 1100) in the record occurs after the widespread collapse of Maya state centers (referred to as the Maya collapse) and may be associated with widespread population decline in the region.” – ScienceDaily
The research offers some insight into how complex social and political systems can be impacted by climate change, as well as how favorable conditions can stimulate population growth and societal complexity. Kennett added:
“In addition to climate drying and drought, the preceding conditions stimulating societal complexity and population expansion helped set the stage for later stress on their societies and the fragmentation of political institutions.” – ScienceDaily
As the world climate continues to change, more intense weather patterns and changes in the circulation patterns of the Earth’s oceans are raising concerns worldwide. In the US, the recent droughts that troubled around 60% of the country and affected livestock and crops such as corn and soybeans, are expected to have a significant impact on the global economy well into 2013. In Kazakhstan (as well as Russia and the Ukraine), severe drought has had extremely detrimental effects on the grain harvest. In India, changes are expected in the monsoon seasons altering the watering patterns of the country’s crops, raising concerns about the possible impact to India’s economy.
“According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half the country (56 percent) experienced drought conditions—the largest percentage in the 12-year history of the service. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from January through June was “the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States.” – (Yahoo!)
With Douglas Kennett’s new research concluding that climate change was part to blame for the fall of the Mayan Civilization, the Mayan Prophecy that the world as we know it will diminish on December 21, 2012 may not seem so implausible. Many theorize that the fall of many of the existing complex sociopolitical systems is imminent, which will result in a birth of a more-conscious humanity, or at least what’s left of humanity, and that a new planetary alignment will allow for cosmic energies to pass through the Earth, elevating life here into a higher vibration.
“We are no longer in the World of the Fourth Sun, but we are not yet in the World of the Fifth Sun. This is the time in-between, the time of transition. As we pass through transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth Changes. Humanity will continue, but in a different way.” – Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Ajq’ij (is a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide) of the Eagle Clan
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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