History and Climate Change

Download Audio
A thousand years ago, from the pueblos of the American southwest to what's now Cambodia to the wheat fields of northern Europe, the world was in the midst of a great warming.

The years from around 800 to 1300 were a balmy time for some. The Vikings roamed the seas. Europe had lovely long summers.

But for the Mayans of the Yucatan, the Khmer of Cambodia, the pueblo people of Arizona, and more, the great Medieval warm-up was a disaster.

This hour, On Point: the great global warming of a thousand years ago, and what it tells us today.


Brian Fagan, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of the new book "The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations."

Jonathan T. Overpeck, director of the Institute for the Planet Earth at the University of Arizona.

This program aired on March 28, 2008.


More from On Point

Listen Live