Extreme weather destroyed Maya civilisation

Civilization

Combined, the stalagmite and hieroglyphs allowed the researchers to link precipitation to politics.

Periods of high and increasing rainfall coincided with a rise in population and political centers between AD 300 and 660. A climate reversal and drying trend between AD 660 and 1000 triggered political competition, increased warfare, overall socio-political instability, and political collapse.

This was followed by an extended drought between AD 1020 and 1100 that likely corresponded with crop failures, death, famine, migration and, ultimately, the collapse of the Maya population.

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