The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The statistics listing thousands upon thousands of people killed by severe storms, the probability that Bangladesh could basically disappear into the ocean within a few generations, the emergency evacuation plans for refugees that some South Pacific islands have in place since they know their island could virtually disappear within the century, the impact of coastal erosion on traditional fishing villages in Alaska…It goes on and on. Some of the repetition seems to have been to just fill space but some may have been for a purpose not unlike telling a child over and over again a message in the hopes they just might remember. In addition to identifying elk, bison, and bears as prey or predators, early peoples depicted these creatures as respected players in the physical and spiritual worlds. Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta.
All in all, the current global warming, Holocene, in the last 12 thousand years made our planet way more habitable and led to the very existence of our modern technical civilization. That is a legitimate concern, but with the expected rise of only around 1 cm per year estimates vary greatly , we have time to prepare. Fagan provides a variety of case examples over a variety of ages all over the globe that show how rising ocean levels are as ancient as the Earth and that humans have usually adapted to the changing sea levels. That option no linger exists: millions upon millions of humans now live in large cities near sea level on every continent except Antarctica. What character would you cut from The Attacking Ocean? The prior warm period, Eemian interglacial, happened 130-110 thousand years ago, the sea level was higher than our present, and homo sapiens species existed only in Africa. Once in a while, a small child, an elderly, or a drunk ends up on the rails at the wrong time.
Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago, except for local adjustments that caused often significant changes to places such as the Nile Delta. Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. Register a Free 1 month Trial Account. There In this book, Brian Fagan takes a look at the changing sea levels over the entire span of human civilization, from the end of the Ice Age to our current levels. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.
And, there is a chapter about tsunamis and the regions they destroyed. Fagan discusses options for these areas basically boiling down to relocation, difficult if not politically impossible most places, or building defenses as the Low Countries in Europe have done, which is incredibly expensive. He lives in Santa Barbara, California. The Attacking Ocean is a history of people dealing with the ever changing ocean. Yes, we live in an industrial and even post-industrial age. But what about in countries where there is not enough money to work with, and not enough political stability for difficult future-focused solutions to be worked out? He also takes a look at the complex relationship between the growing human population and the oceans along which we live.
This thought-provoking work is bound to be popular with readers of Fagans previous books as well as those interested in anthropology, archaeology, climate change, and global warming. Eventually, traditional hunting, subsistence farming and husbandry yielded to systematic agriculture, large-scale herding, permanent settlements, cities and the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. He traces changes to the landscape in each of these areas, showing that there have always been fluctuations in coastal water levels caused by climate change, land subsidence, river delta silting, and so on. The narrative is terrific - my complaint is entirely with the narration. Moving people away from threatened regions on the coast is another strategy that Fagan discusses.
The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. As the most accomplished and articulate of archaeologists and science writers addressing the many facets of the climate debate, Brian Fagan again critically and without hyperbole states our anticipated future. In some situations, that might be a costly but acceptable strategy, in particular where the threatened population is small and the buildings and infrastructure is not so valuable that they cannot be given up. In past millennia, rising sea levels were handled easily by people; they simply picked up and moved to higher ground. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. The overpopulation and over-development of coastal areas are real problems what should be dealt with.
Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. Here in my high Rocky Mountain home, I feel the urgency of this problem. Where the number of lives threatened formerly was large, now it is immense. We are preparing for a range of events that will eventually be exceeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end.
Fagan brings the long view to the topic, knowing that ocean levels aren't static but vary over the millennium. And, he dumps a reasonable amount of scorn on those who deny climate change, its effects and threats, and its human causes. While a written in obtuse, repetitive and some times hard to follow style, it supplies a useful understanding of the causes and results of sea level changes over the past 10,000 years. Over the next ten millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. This understanding should be a useful base for processing the information being provided today regarding such changes in the future. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because those people were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.