such as "Introduction", "Conclusion"..etc
Sustainable farming and the introduction of new crops relies on a
relatively stable climate, not dramatic conditions attributable to
climate change. Basing their argument on evolutionary, ecological,
genetic and agronomic considerations, Dr. Shahal Abbo, from the Levi
Eshkol School of Agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Israel, and colleagues, demonstrate why climate change is not the
likely cause of plant domestication in the Near East.
Rather, the variety of crops in the Near East was chosen to function
within the normal east Mediterranean rainfall pattern, in which good
rainy years create enough surplus to sustain farming communities during
drought years. In the authors' view, climate change is unlikely to
induce major cultural changes.
Their thesis is published online in Springer's journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.
Climate-based explanations for the beginning of new agricultural
practices give environmental factors a central role, as prime movers
for the cultural-economic change known as the Near Eastern Neolithic or
Agricultural Revolution (about 8500 B.C., 10500 cal. B.P.*). Dr. Abbo
and team studied the traditional farming systems which existed until
the early twentieth century in the Near East, looking for insights into
the agronomic basis of the early days of Near Eastern farming, and to
shed light on the possible role of climatic factors as stimuli for the
Their detailed analysis demonstrates that climate change could not
have been the reason for the emergence of grain farming in the Near
East. They find that farming requires a relatively stable climate to
function as a sustainable economy and therefore is not a sustainable
option in times of climatic deterioration.
The authors conclude, "We argue against climate change being at the
origin of Near Eastern agriculture and believe that a slow but real
climatic change is unlikely to induce revolutionary cultural changes."
*calibrated years before the present
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