This book highlights climate as a complex physical, chemical, biological, and geological system, in perpetual change, under astronomical, predominantly, solar control. It has been shaped to some degree through the past glaciation cycles repeated in the last three million years. The Holocene, the current interglacial epoch which started ca. 11,700 years ago, marks the transition from the Stone Age to the unprecedented cultural evolution of our civilization.

Significant climate changes have been recorded in natural archives during the Holocene, including the rapid waning of ice sheets, millennial shifting of the monsoonal fringe in the northern hemisphere, and abrupt centennial events. A typical case of severe environmental change is the greening of Sahara in the Early Holocene and the gradual desertification again since the fifth millennium before present.

Climate Changes in the Holocene: Impact, Adaptation, and Resilience investigates the impact of natural climate changes on humans and civilization through case studies from various places, periods, and climates. Earth and human society are approached as a complex system, thereby emphasizing the necessity to improve adaptive capacity in view of the anthropogenic global warming and ecosystem degradation.



  • Written by distinguished experts, the book presents the fundamentals of the climate system, the unparalleled progress achieved in the last decade in the fields of intensified research for improved understanding of the carbon cycle, climate components, and their interaction.
  • Presents the application of paleoclimatology and modeling in climate reconstruction.
  • Examines the new era of satellite-based climate monitoring and the prospects of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.



part Section I|1 pages

Advances in Climate Reconstruction

chapter 2|36 pages

Proxy Indicators of Climate in the Past

ByMarie-Michèle Ouellet-Bernier, Anne de Vernal

chapter 3|30 pages

Pleistocene Glaciations

ByMichel Crucifix

chapter 4|14 pages

Solar Irradiance Variability and Earth’s Climate

ByNatalie Krivova

chapter 5|20 pages

High Resolution Climate Reconstruction of the Last 2,000 Years

BySebastian Wagner, Eduardo Zorita

part Section II|1 pages

Tracing Major Human Migrations

chapter 6|14 pages

Migration of Homo Sapiens Out of Africa

ByP. Nick Kardulias

chapter 7|6 pages

Ancient-DNA and Modern-DNA Genetics Can Reveal Past Population Movements

ByKonstantinos Voskarides

part Section III|1 pages

Human Responses to Climate throughout the Holocene

chapter 8|18 pages

Climate Change, Mesoamerica, and the Classic Maya Collapse

ByLisa J. Lucero, Jean T. Larmon

chapter 9|18 pages

From “Green” to “Brown”

The Archaeology of the Holocene Central Sahara
BySavino di Lernia

chapter 11|26 pages

Human Adaptation in Arabia

The Role of Hydraulic Technologies
ByJulien Charbonnier

chapter 12|24 pages

Hydraulic Cultures and Hydrology under Climatic Change

North Arabian Mid-Holocene Pastoral and Proto-Oasis Land Use
ByHans Georg K. Gebel, Kai Wellbrock

chapter 13|23 pages

Collapse of Bronze Age Civilizations

ByGuy D. Middleton

chapter 14|34 pages

The Iranian Plateau and the Indus River Basin

ByCameron A. Petrie, Lloyd Weeks

part Section IV|1 pages

Challenges Ahead

chapter 16|10 pages

Perspectives of Climate Monitoring in the Satellite Era

ByMika G. Tosca

chapter 17|14 pages

Perspectives of Clean Energy and Carbon Dioxide Capture, Storage and Utilization

ByNikolaos Koukouzas, Vasiliki Gemeni, Nikolaos Tsoukalas

chapter 18|10 pages

What Lies Ahead?

The Future of the Earth and Society as an Adaptive System
ByTimothy Karpouzoglou, Feng Mao

chapter 19|4 pages


ByMichel Crucifix