24 Feb '12, 5am

Mild climate change killed off ancient Mayans

Mild climate change killed off ancient Mayans

WASHINGTON: The collapse of the Mayan civilization was likely due to a relatively mild drought, much like the drier conditions expected in the coming years due to climate change, scientists said Thursday. Scholars have long believed that a major drought caused severe dry conditions that killed off the ancient culture known for its mastery of language, math and astronomy. But researchers from the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research in Mexico and the University of Southampton in Britain said their analysis shows the drought only caused reductions of 25 to 40 percent less annual rain. The smaller amounts of rain meant that open water sources in pools and lakes evaporated faster than could be replaced by more precipitation, said the study in the journal Science. "The data suggest that the main cause was a decrease in summer storm activity," said co-author Eelco Rohling of t...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/featurenews/view/1...

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