As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
Drought is a normal recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world. It doesn’t get the attention of a tornado, hurricane or flood. Instead, it’s a slower and less obvious, a much quieter disaster creeping up on us unawares.
Climate change is currently warming many regions, warmer temperatures increase the frequency and intensity of heat waves and droughts.
We can prepare for some climate change consequences with public education, water conservation programs, limiting pumping from our freshwater aquifers to recharge rates and putting in place early warning systems for extreme heat events.
Unfortunately some things cannot be prepared for…like the pervasiveness and persistence of a hundred year drought caused by climate change.
The collapse of some of the world’s earliest known empires was because of drought.
The Akkadians of Mesopotamia forged the world’s first empire more than 4,300 years ago. The Akkad’s seized control of cities along the Euphrates River and swept up onto the plains to the north – in a short period of time their empire stretched 800 miles, all the way from the Persian Gulf to the headwaters of the Euphrates, through what is now Iraq, Syria and parts of southern Turkey.
Tell Leilan was a small village founded by some of the world’s first farmers. It’s located in present day Syria and has existed for over 8,000 years. The Akkad’s conquered Tell Leilan around 2300 B.C. and the area became the breadbasket for the Akkadian empire.
After only a hundred years the Akkadian empire started to collapse.
In 1978, Harvey Weiss, a Yale archaeologist, began excavating the city of Tell Leilan. Everywhere Weiss dug he encountered a layer of dirt that contained no signs of human habitation. This dirt layer corresponded to the years 2200 to 1900 B.C. – the time of Akkad’s fall.
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