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Indus Civilization Upended by Climate Change and Dependence on Finite Resource?

As first reported at the New York Times, a recent study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences makes a strong case for the influence of climate change on the demise of the Harrapan civilization of the Indus plains, a sophisticated culture that “rose about 4,500 years ago, flourished for 600 years and then began a steady and relentless decline.” Essentially, the study shows, the civilization was highly dependent on monsoon rains to feed the flooding of rivers in the Indus valley, its essential means for watering crops, and was thus unable to adapt to climatic changes that weakened the monsoons, and failed to flood the rivers (the Harrapans did not utilize irrigation systems, being spoiled by what they believed was an infinite cycle of river flooding). (more…)

Everyone Wants to Go to Svalbard

Where will you be spending your next vacation? Don’t know about you, but we’re going to Svalbard, Norway, the northernmost inhabited place on Earth, and one of the coldest. Well, no, we’re not. But a melting arctic – opening up shipping lanes, oil and gas reserves and global warming research centers –  has made the remote island of Svalbard, a place that was once offered as a harsher alternative to the death penalty, a veritable hotbed of interest from major countries, such as China, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. On the U.S. side, publications such as Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr’s “The Emerging Arctic Frontier” in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings Magazine this past February, speak loud and clear to that growing interest.

Still, we plan to go to Malta instead.

The full story at Public Radio International.