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Moderate Drought Blamed for Collapse of Maya Civilization

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User ID: 9776439
02/24/2012 03:59 AM
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Moderate Drought Blamed for Collapse of Maya Civilization
A new study reports that the demise of the Maya Civilization may have been related to relatively modest reductions in rainfall. The study, published in AAAS Science, was led by Professors Martín Medina-Elizalde of the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research and Eelco Rohling of the University of Southampton in the UK. The study combines records of past climate changes from stalagmites and shallow lakes to model 40% reductions in summer rainfall and reduced tropical storm activity over the region between AD 800-950.

Professor Rohling says, "Our results show rather modest rainfall reductions between times when the Classic Maya Civilization flourished and its collapse - between AD 800-950. These reductions amount to only 25 to 40 per cent in annual rainfall. But they were large enough for evaporation to become dominant over rainfall, and open water availability was rapidly reduced. The data suggest that the main cause was a decrease in summer storm activity."

Although the drought was not severe, the researchers believe the drought still may have been enough to cause societal disruptions. The researchers say water scarcity builds up quickly in the Yucatan Peninsula if summer rains are reduced.

[link to inagist.com]

User ID: 944501
02/24/2012 04:52 AM
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Re: Moderate Drought Blamed for Collapse of Maya Civilization
Actually other studies have established that it was a prolonged el ninya event, and that the religous beliefs of the myans caused them to make human sacrifices where they wiuld dispose the sacrificed into their drinking water resevoirs in the belief that the gods would look favorably on this.

But, what they did was to actually poision their only supplies of water, which rapidly sped up their demise as a race.