Climate, History and the Modern World

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 1995 - Science - 433 pages
We live in a world that is increasingly vulnerable to climatic shocks - affecting agriculture and industry, government and international trade, not to mention human health and happiness. Serious anxieties have been aroused by respected scientists warning of dire perils that could result from upsets of the climatic regime. In this internationally acclaimed book, Emeritus Professor Hubert Lamb examines what we know about climate, how the past record of climate can be reconstructed, the causes of climatic variation, and its impact on human affairs now and in the historical and prehistoric past. This 2nd Edition includes a new preface and postscript reviewing the wealth of literature to emerge in recent years, and discusses implications for a deeper understanding of the problems of future climatic fluctuations and forecasting.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
THE CLIMATE PROBLEM
8
Early writing about climate and history
9
Climate viewed as constant
10
The effect on research and the development of knowledge
12
The development of climate
21
HOW CLIMATE WORKS
23
The heat supply
24
Effects in Scotland
219
Scandinavia and Finland
224
Fisheries and the seafaring nations of northern Europe
227
Harvests and health in England
228
The variability of weather in the Little Ice Age
229
Notable winters and summers in Europe
230
Artists Impressions
233
Southern Europe north Africa and India
235

The worlds wind circulation
27
Weather systems
30
Transport of moisture and pollution by the winds
35
Variations of the wind circulation
36
Worldwide relationships of weather variations
38
Convection and temperature change with height
39
Tornadoes
40
Tropical storms typhoons
42
Seasonal changes
44
distribution seasonal changes monsoons
46
HOW CLIMATE COMES TO FLUCTUATE AND CHANGE
52
Changes in the ocean
60
More basic matters
62
Astronomical cycles affecting the heat supply
66
Other cycles
68
Cycles in the suns activity
69
The heating pattern and reconstruction of past climates
70
HOW WE CAN RECONSTRUCT THE PAST RECORD OF CLIMATE
74
Other records of past climates
80
Grain prices records
89
Radiocarbon and its role in dating evidence
93
Pollen analysis and vegetation history
95
The postglacial record and evidence from beetles
96
Archaeology
98
Ocean bed deposits
100
Climate and history
109
CLIMATE AT THE DAWN OF HISTORY
111
The end of the ice age world
114
The rising sea level and its effects
115
Human migrations
116
The beginnings of agriculture and the bending of animals
119
The shift of the segregation zones and their faunas the ranges of birds and of fish in the sea
121
the moist Sahara and its ending contemporary changes in Europe and North America
122
IN THE TIMES OF THE EARLY CIVILIZATIONS
125
The Indus valley and its civilization
130
Ancient China
132
TIMES OF DISTURBANCE AND DECLINE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
139
Records of the downturn of climate
140
Effects on European lake settlements and mining in the mountains
146
Effects in northern lands
147
Effects in the eastern Mediterranean and Hither Asia
148
Effects in China
150
Details from northwest Europe
152
The time of birth of great religions
154
ROMAN TIMES AND AFTER
156
times of trade and of migrations
159
Critical disease epidemics
162
The climatic sequence in Europe through the first millennium AD
165
The sequence in the Mediterranean and farther south
168
Central America and southeast Asia
169
THROUGH VIKING TIMES TO THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES
171
The medieval sequence in northern Europe and the northern Atlantic
172
The peak of medieval warmth in Europe
177
The contemporary scene in the Mediterranean eastern Europe and Asia
182
Effects on sea level and lowlying coasts
185
DECLINE AGAIN IN THE LATE MIDDLE AGES
187
storms
191
Cooling and wetness in early fourteenthcentury Europe
195
A time of diseases
199
desertion of farms and village settlements
200
Norway Denmark Scotland
202
Central southern and eastern Europe
206
Developments in Africa and India
207
how the preEuropean cultures were affected
209
THE LITTLE ICE AGE BACKGROUND TO THE HISTORY OF THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES
211
1500s to 1800s
212
Iceland and the Arctic fringe
216
Great storms and coastal floods in Europe
217
The Far East
236
North America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
240
THE RECOVERY 1700 TO AROUND 1950
242
Warming sets in erratically
243
Developments in agriculture
245
Further climate disturbance in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
246
Charles Dickens and the artists as climate reporters
249
Towards the midnineteenth century and the beginnings of the great recession of the glaciers
251
The Irish potato famine
252
Midnineteenth century in the United States
253
Towards the end of the century
254
The twentiethcentury warmth
260
Climate in the modern world and questions over the future
265
CLIMATE SINCE 1950
267
Cooling in the Arctic
271
world temperature
273
Effects on rainfall
275
Effects on glaciers icesheets and sea level
278
Monitoring the developments of world climate
279
THE IMPACT OF CLIMATIC DEVELOPMENTS ON HUMAN AFFAIRS AND HUMAN HISTORY
283
Impacts of the first order
286
More complex consequences
288
Effects on grain harvests
292
Details from Switzerland in the eighteenth century
296
The time around 1816
298
1879 and the decline of British agriculture
300
The experience of 1972
306
Technology climate and food supply
308
Climate and disease outbreaks
311
The impacts of flooding and bitter winters
314
Other aspects
316
THE CAUSES OF CLIMATES FLUCTUATIONS AND CHANGES
319
Variations of the sun
320
Variations in the Earths orbit
322
Volcanic dust in the atmosphere
323
Variations of the circulation and heat distribution in the atmosphere and oceans
327
Impacts on the climate of various human activities
329
Devices to alter the climate and environment
330
The increase of carbon dioxide
333
Other effluents from human activities
336
The net effect
337
Effects in industrial and urban areas
340
FORECASTING
346
Longerterm forecasting
347
Clusters of like years
349
The development of climate
351
Forecasts of the natural climate
354
Possible effects of human activity and policy decisions
359
Concluding summary
367
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
369
Approaches to climate forecasting and their usefulness
371
International efforts needed to improve knowledge
374
The lessons of history
376
The need for flexibility diversification and margins of safety in agriculture and energy policy
377
watchfulness understanding and realism
380
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND THE OUTLOOK
383
The unrelenting growth of the worlds human population
384
The more or less worldwide warmth of the twentieth century exceeding that of most recent centuries
385
The developing ozone holes
386
Pollution
387
Windiness and storms
388
Recurring oscillations in largescale weather patterns
390
Notes
393
Suggestions for further reading
412
Additional further reading for the second edition
413
Index
414
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