Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations
In 1997 and early 1998, one of the most powerful El Ninos ever recorded disrupted weather patterns all over the world. Europe suffered through a ... Show synopsis In 1997 and early 1998, one of the most powerful El Ninos ever recorded disrupted weather patterns all over the world. Europe suffered through a record freeze as the American West was hit with massive floods and snow-storms; in the Western Pacific, meanwhile, some island nations literally went bone dry and had to have water flown in on transport planes. In this dazzlingly original book, archaeologist Brian Fagan shows that such effects are not new: El Nino has been disrupting weather patterns on and off for at least 5, 000 years, sometimes with catastrophic effects on civilizations. El Nino-driven droughts have brought on the collapse of dynasties in Egypt; El Nino monsoon failures have caused historic famines in India; and El Nino floods have destroyed whole civilizations in Peru and changed the course of European exploration. These events are not isolated but had lasting influence on the later course of these civilizations for centuries.