Either way, it means the end of nations - The Maldives are drowning and the president-elect of that country is trying to buy a new homeland, since they can't get any other country to take them in as refugees.
The nation of Maldives is a group of over 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean that together comprise the lowest country in the world, only about 3 feet about sea level.
President-elect Mohamed Nasheed wants to use tourist revenues (the Maldives is a popular tourist destination) to buy land somewhere in the area with a similar culture?maybe India or Sri Lanka?where his 300,000 citizens can relocate.
It's happened before, but then it was drought: the end of some of China's ruling dynasties over an 1,800 year period may have been linked to changes in the strength of monsoon rains. The end of the Mayan empire can also be blamed on the climate.
The monsoon research comes from a stalagmite from a Chinese cave, containing a record groundwater dripping through the ceiling, which is what created it. Researchers Pingzhong Zhang and Hai Cheng compared the rain record of the stalagmite with Chinese historical records and found that 3 of the dynasties during that period of time ended after many years of dry conditions.
BBC News quotes Zhang and Cheng as saying, "Whereas other factors would certainly have affected these chapters of Chinese cultural history, our correlations suggest that climate played a key role."
One mysterious finding is that a drought between 850 AD and 940 AD also coincides with the fall of the Mayan civilization far away in South America, suggesting that sunspots may have played a major role.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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