By Dr Anil K Gupta, D N Pandey, Dr D M Anderson and Prasad
The authors are Head Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; IFS, Special Secretary to Chief Minister, Rajasthan; and Scientist, NOAA paleoclimatology Programme and University of Colorado, USA, respectively.
Historical societal adaptations to climate fluctuations may provide insights into potential responses of modern societies to future climate change that has a bearing on water resources, food production and management of natural systems.
Climate plays a critical role in human survival. Where there is water no matter what the physical conditions, there is life. Water has been important for the development of cultural complexity in human society during the Holocene (last 10,000 years) and earlier. Numerous civilizations evolved along the banks of water bodies or in areas with abundant rainfall. The archaeological and historical records show many instances of societal collapse, attributed to a combination of social, political and economic factors. However, recent...