Climate Change in Human History provides a concise introduction to the relationship between human beings and climate change throughout history.
Starting hundreds of thousands of years ago and going up to the present day, this book illustrates how natural climate variability affected early human societies and how human activity is now leading to drastic changes to our climate. Taking a chronological approach the authors explain how climate change created opportunities and challenges for human societies in each major time period, covering themes such as phases of climate and history, climate shocks, the rise and fall of civilizations, industrialization, accelerating climate change and our future outlook.
This 2nd edition includes a new chapter on the explosion of social movements, protest groups and key individuals since 2017 and the implications this has had on the history of climate change, an improved introduction to the Anthropocene and extra content on the basic dynamics of the climate system alongside updated historiography. With more case studies, images and individuals throughout the text, the second edition also includes a glossary of terms and further reading to aid students in understanding this interdisciplinary subject.
An ideal companion for all students of environmental history, Climate Change and Human History clearly demonstrates the critical role of climate in shaping human history and of the experience of humans in both adapting to and shaping climate change.
1. A Fragile Start: Ice Ages
2. The Rise of Farming
3. Complex Societies
4. Climate and Civilizations of the Middle Ages
5. Little Ice Age and Regional Climate Change
6. Humans Take Over: Industrialization and Climate Change
7. The Future is Now: Climate Change and Human Societies in the 21st Century
8. Climate Change and Human Responses: Projections and Controversies
9. Declarations, Rebellions and Marches: The Climate Change Emergency
Benjamin Lieberman is Professor of History at Fitchburg State University, USA. His most recent publications are Terrible Fate: Ethnic Cleansing in the Making of Modern Europe (2013) and The Holocaust and Genocides in Europe (2013).
Elizabeth Gordon is an Associate Professor of Geoscience at Fitchburg State University, USA.
Reviews of the first edition:
"A superb work of historical and scientific synthesis. Lieberman and Gordon show how fruitful collaborative efforts between scientists and humanists can be."
– Frank Zelko, Associate Professor of History, University of Vermont, USA
"Climate Change in Human History demonstrates just how fundamentally a changing climate has worked its way through into the pores of the historical record. This impressive and vastly important volume lays out, in an accessible and stimulating way, a comprehensive narrative from human origins to what may become our anthropogenic twilight. Essential reading not just for historians but students of all disciplines!"
– Mark Levene, Reader in History at the University of Southampton, UK and , co-editor of History at the End of the World? History, Climate Change and the Possibility of Closure
"They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. When it comes to climate change, understanding the impact of past climate changes on human civilization is critical to assessing the unprecedented threat we face with human-caused climate change. There is no better treatment of the topic of climate history than Climate Change in Human History: Prehistory to the Present by Benjamin Lieberman and Elizabeth Gordon. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking greater knowledge of climate history and what it can teach us."
– Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University, and co-author of The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening the Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy
"Climate Change in Human History offers the first concise overview of climate change and human affairs, past and present, suitable for an introductory undergraduate course. The authors manage to cover an admirable range of serious climate history research and give appropriate context for arguments about the role of climate and weather in migrations, conflicts, cultures, and economies."
– Sam White, Associate Professor of History, Ohio State University, USA