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Encyclopedia > Fourth millennium BC

(5th millennium BC4th millennium BC3rd millennium BC - other millennia)



3200 BC climate change

Based on studies by glaciologist Lonnie Thompson (professor at Ohio State University and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center) [1] (http://www.news-about-space.org/story/2409.html) a number of indicators shows there were a global change in climate 5,200 years ago:

  • The climate was altered suddenly with severe impacts.
  • Plants buried in the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes demonstrate the climate had shifted suddenly and severely to capture the plants and preserve them until now.
  • A man trapped in an Alpine glacier ("Oetzi") is frozen until his discovery in 1991..
  • Tree rings from Ireland and England show this was their driest period.
  • Ice core records showing the ratio of two oxygen isotopes retrieved from the ice fields atop Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, a proxy for atmospheric temperature at the time snow fell.
  • The shift by the Sahara Desert from a habitable region to a barren desert.
  • Major changes in plant pollen uncovered from lakebed cores in South America.
  • Record lowest levels of methane retrieved from ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica.

Significant persons

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

Cultural landmarks


External references

  • 3200 BC Climate Change (http://www.news-about-space.org/story/2409.html)

  Results from FactBites:
Proussakov, Nature and Man in Ancient Egypt (3030 words)
The Atlantic Climatic Optimum with its moistening was followed by a steep fall of temperature in the Northern Hemisphere during the Fourth Millennium BC; in particular, this fall was accompanied by the settling of arid conditions in the Northeast Africa.
3600 BC; it is noteworthy that this climatological landmark coincides with the rough date of considerable social and technological progress in the Nile Valley which is associated with the transition from Naqada I (Amratian) to Naqada II (Gerzean) archaeological cultures in Egypt.
The starting point of the argument was K. Butzer's reconstruc-tion of the alluvial Nile floodplain formation and, in particular, the assumption that in the Second Millennium BC (owing to the cessation of the monsoon rains in Ethiopia), the silt deposition in the Nile Valley was interrupted.
  More results at FactBites »



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