A new study reports that the disintegration of the Maya civilization may have been related to relatively modest reductions in rainfall.
The study was led by Professors Martín Medina-Elizalde of the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research in Mexico and Eelco Rohling of the University of Southampton in the UK.
Professor Rohling explains, “Our results show rather modest rainfall reductions between times when the Classic Maya civilization flourished and its collapse – between AD 800-950. These reductions amount to only 25 to 40 per cent in annual rainfall. But they were large enough for evaporation to become dominant over rainfall, and open water availability was rapidly reduced. The data suggest that the main cause was a decrease in summer storm activity.”
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