A revolutionary new history that reveals how climate change has dramatically shaped the development—and demise—of civilizations across time
Global warming is one of the greatest dangers mankind faces today. Even as temperatures increase, sea levels rise, and natural disasters escalate, our current environmental crisis feels difficult to predict and understand. But climate change and its effects on us are not new. In a bold narrative that spans centuries and continents, Peter Frankopan argues that nature has always played a fundamental role in the writing of history. From the fall of the Moche civilization in South America that came about because of the cyclical pressures of El Niño to volcanic eruptions in Iceland that affected Egypt and helped bring the Ottoman empire to its knees, climate change and its influences have always been with us.
Frankopan explains how the Vikings emerged thanks to catastrophic crop failure, why the roots of regime change in eleventh-century Baghdad lay in the collapse of cotton prices resulting from unusual climate patterns, and why the western expansion of the frontiers in North America was directly affected by solar flare activity in the eighteenth century. Again and again, Frankopan shows that when past empires have failed to act sustainably, they have been met with catastrophe. Blending brilliant historical writing and cutting-edge scientific research, The Earth Transformed will radically reframe the way we look at the world and our future.