Archeology, a human science essential to better understanding climate change

No, it’s not about promoting a return to the oil lamp. Supporting the archeology of climate change, such a team of anthropologists, geographers and earth scientists from Canada, the United States, and France in Journal of the American Academy of Sciences (PNAS) In the past month, it must be emphasized that the answers that man has given to past climate turmoil can help us deal with the sweltering temperatures hanging in the nose.

The experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said again on Monday in the disturbing first part of their sixth report: “We now have a much clearer picture of the climate in the past, present and future, which is essential to understanding where we are going, what can be done and how we can prepare,” According to paleoclimatologist Valerie Mason-Delmott, co-chair of Working Group I.

Combine ecology and archeology

Climate scientist and co-author Christophe Casseau adds this Tuesday on France culture : “We have archives, that is, environments that recorded conditions at the time they formed – ice cores, sediment cores, as well as pollen or tree rings – that allow us to better analyze the response of the climate system to greenhouse gases, and thus to better understand the recent past.”

This is for the physical bases. What researchers say in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, We need to study more than ever how humans interacted with their environment during past climatic events, such as the warming that followed the last Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago.

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“This major combines the study of environmental conditions and archaeological information”, Ariane Burke explains in a communication, lead author and anthropologist at the University of Montreal. “What this approach allows us to do is identify the range of challenges people have faced in the past, the different strategies they used to deal with them, and ultimately, whether or not they were successful.”

With her team, she hopes to identify the turning points in climate history that have prompted residents to reorganize their societies in order to survive, and thus demonstrate cultural diversity, “The source of human resilience in the past”, No less important is a fortress against the current liberation.

Ways to ensure food security

The study also addresses the advocacy in favor of indigenous knowledge (commended by Ipbes, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for biodiversity in 2019), peoples who are on the front line in the face of planetary upheaval when they are far from being the main culprits.

“Traditional agricultural practices – many of which are still practiced today – are valuable alternatives that can be used to rethink industrial agriculture, to make it more sustainable in the future”, Write the authors.

“Indigenous farmers around the world grow a wide range of crop types, and not all of them will respond to changing climatic conditions in the same way,” Ariane Burke adds. They maintain the richness of crops in the global food chain such as the “Three Sisters” chain based on corn, squash and beans. If the major types of crops we depend on today were to collapse, this diversity could prove to be a lifeline and food security for years to come.”

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