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Collapse of classic Maya civilization related to modest reduction in precipitation

Medina-Elizalde, M. and Rohling, E.J. (2012) Collapse of classic Maya civilization related to modest reduction in precipitation Science, 335, (6071), pp. 956-959. (doi:10.1126/science.1216629).

Record type: Article


The disintegration of the Classic Maya civilization in the Yucatán Peninsula and Central America was a complex process that occurred over an approximately 200-year interval and involved a catastrophic depopulation of the region. Although it is well established that the civilization collapse coincided with widespread episodes of drought, their nature and severity remain enigmatic. We present a quantitative analysis that offers a coherent interpretation of four of the most detailed paleoclimate records of the event. We conclude that the droughts occurring during the disintegration of the Maya civilization represented up to a 40% reduction in annual precipitation, probably due to a reduction in summer season tropical storm frequency and intensity.

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Published date: 24 February 2012
Organisations: Paleooceanography & Palaeoclimate


Local EPrints ID: 336791
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: cbb9378a-8008-46f9-bbec-99ef5ef4abbf
ORCID for E.J. Rohling: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 04 Apr 2012 09:31
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 06:06

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Author: M. Medina-Elizalde
Author: E.J. Rohling ORCID iD

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