Studying past climate change events builds our understanding of the potential human dimensions of the current climate change event.
There was widespread social and cultural change across Europe and Asia in the sixth and seventh centuries following an abrupt climate cooling.
A series of droughts in the Asian steppes between 360 and 550 was followed by volcanic explosions in the sixth century. brought on massive societal upheaval across Asia and Europe. A study published in Nature Geoscience suggests that it was linked to a pandemic. Many historians call this period “The Great Migration” which lasted until the 8th centuries. This climate change event had significant impacts on culture, including:
- 370-453 – Huns invade Europe. Massive migrations follow for 300 years.
- 410 – Visigoths sack Rome
- 476 – the Roman Empire collapses
- 541-542 – pandemic of the bubonic plague
- 550 – the Gupta Empire collapses
- 632 – Sasanian Empire collapses.
The Dark Age that followed lasted 400+ years to Early Middle Ages (10th century) and was accompanied by a loss of literacy and technology.