Global Land Use and Technological Evolution Simulations to Quantify Interactions Between Climate and Pre-industrial Cultures
To understand the two-way interaction between past societies and Holocene climate, we conduct a series of integrated model- and data-based studies. The climate-culture feedback is investigated using a coupled Earth System Civilization Model, including a new methodology to incorporate proxy information into an Earth System Model. Our study reconstructs the transition to agriculture for Western Eurasia in the paleoclimatic context; it shows that migration is not a necessary prerequisite for this transition, which is a yet unresolved problem in European archeology. Climate variability and extreme events had no significant impact, which reflects societal resilience. Also, our simulation studies indicate a considerable range of global and regional carbon emissions by deforestation. In conclusion, we find on the one hand a lower sensitivity of past societies to changes in Holocene climate than frequently suggested, on the other hand a possibly larger influence of those societies on regional and global climate.
KeywordsNeolithic transition Preindustrial cultures Earth system model Sociotechnological model Anthropocene Proxy integration Adaptation Carbon emission
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