Fall of Indus valley & Akkadian civilizations from climate change

Preface. Any civilization or region that survives energy decline must then survive climate change for many centuries. As far as the wind systems that collapsed the Akkadian empire, it’s already happening:

“Greenhouse gases are increasingly disrupting the jet stream, a powerful river of winds that steers weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s causing more frequent summer droughts, floods and wildfires, a new study says. The findings suggest that summers like 2018, when the jet stream drove extreme weather on an unprecedented scale across the Northern Hemisphere, will be 50% more frequent by the end of the century if emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate pollutants from industry, agriculture and the burning of fossil fuels continue at a high rate” (Berwyn 2018).

Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com  author of “Life After Fossil Fuels: A Reality Check on Alternative Energy”, April 2021, Springer, “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles, Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


Malik N (2020) Uncovering transitions in paleoclimate time series and the climate driven demise of an ancient civilization. Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science.

There are several theories about why the Indus Valley Civilization declined—including invasion by nomadic Indo-Aryans and earthquakes—but climate change appears to be the most likely scenario. Shifting monsoon patterns led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, a Bronze Age civilization contemporary to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

Bressan, D (2019) Climate Change Caused the World’s First Empire To Collapse. Forbes

The Akkadian Empire was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia, centered around the lost city of Akkad. The reign of Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, as it developed a central government and elaborate bureaucracy to rule over a vast area comprising modern Iraq, Syria, parts of Iran and central Turkey. Established around 4.600 years ago, it abruptly collapsed two centuries later as settlements were suddenly abandoned. New research published in the journal Geology argues that shifting wind systems contributed to the demise of the empire.

The region of the Middle East is characterized by strong northwesterly winds known locally as shamals. This weather effect occurs one or more times a year. The resulting wind typically creates large sandstorms that impact the climate of the area. To reconstruct the temperature and rainfall patterns of the area around the ancient metropolis of Tell-Leilan, the researchers sampled 4,600- to 3,000-year-old fossil Porites corals, deposited by an ancient tsunami on the northeastern coast of Oman.

The genus Porites builds a stony skeleton using the mineral aragonite (CaCO3). Studying the chemical and isotopic signatures of the carbon and oxygen used by the living coral, it is possible to reconstruct the sea-surface temperature conditions and so the precipitation and evaporation balance of a region located near the sea.

The fossil evidence shows that there was a prolonged winter shamal season accompanied by frequent shamal days lasting from 4.500 to 4.100 years ago, coinciding with the collapse of the Akkadian empire 4.400 years ago . The impact of the dust storms and lack of rainfall would have caused major agricultural problems possibly leading to famine and social instability. Weakened from the inside, the Akkadian Empire became an easy target to many opportunistic tribes living nearby. Hostile invasions, helped by the shifting climate, finally brought an end to the first modern empire in history.

The collapse of the Akkadian Empire concides also with the proposed onset of the Meghalayan Age, an age marked by mega-droughts on a global scale that crushed a number of civilizations worldwide.


Berwyn, B. 2018. Global Warming Is Messing with the Jet Stream. That Means More Extreme Weather. A new study links the buildup of greenhouse gas emissions to more frequent heat waves, floods and droughts in the Northern Hemisphere. insideclimatenews.org

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