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environmental history


  • Originally published 03/25/2014

    Lessons from the Little Ice Age

    The Little Ice Age of the seventeenth century triggered global disruptions to civilization. Policymakers need to heed the warning.

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Timothy Silver and Judkin Browning write environmental history of Civil War

    With more than 55,000 books in print about the Civil War, one might assume that there is no new information to be gleaned about the event that separated states, communities and families.But there is a topic that has received scant attention — the environmental history of the Civil War.Professor Timothy Silver and associate professor Judkin Browning from the Appalachian State University Department of History have aligned their academic interests on a project that has received a $100,000 collaborative research fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.Silver is an environmental historian and the author of “Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains: An Environmental History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America” (University of North Carolina Press) and “A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800” (Cambridge University Press)....

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    How high could the tide go?

    BREDASDORP, South Africa — A scruffy crew of scientists barreled down a dirt road, their two-car caravan kicking up dust. After searching all day for ancient beaches miles inland from the modern shoreline, they were about to give up.Suddenly, the lead car screeched to a halt. Paul J. Hearty, a geologist from North Carolina, leapt out and seized a white object on the side of the road: a fossilized seashell. He beamed. In minutes, the team had collected dozens more.Using satellite gear, they determined they were seven miles inland and 64 feet above South Africa’s modern coastline....In any given era, the earth’s climate responds to whatever factors are pushing it to change.Scientists who study climate history, known as paleoclimatologists, focus much of their research on episodes when wobbles in the earth’s orbit caused it to cool down or warm up, causing sea level to rise or fall by hundreds of feet....