Feb 18, 2014 - What role does pre-existing vulnerabilities play for people who experience a climate shock? Does it amplify the effects of the climate shock or is effect negligible? Four Arizona State University archaeologists are looking into this as part of an international team examining how people can be most resilient to climate change when it comes to food security.
The group questioned whether vulnerability to food shortages prior to a climate shock - not the actual experience of the food shortage - is related to the scale of impact of that shock. They found a strong relationship.
The team used long-term archaeological and historical data from the North Atlantic Islands and the U.S. Southwest to form the basis of their understanding of changing dynamics in these areas. Each case in their study included information on evolving social, political and economic conditions over centuries, as well as climate data.