Cropped Out: Environmental History Through a Car Window

A community in so many ways defined by reinvention butting up against land prized for its preservation in perpetuity. Introduction I don’t love to drive, but last year I committed myself to a lifestyle that revolves around it. I took a job teaching history in Greeley, Colorado, and decided to live in Fort Collins, about[…]

How Climate Change Put a Damper on the Maya Civilization

Thousands of years before their collapse, severely soggy conditions lasting for many centuries likely inhibited the civilization’s development. By Olivia Trani More than 4,000 years ago, when the Great Pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge were being built, the Maya civilisation emerged in Central America. The indigenous group prospered for thousands of years until its fall[…]

Urwald Rothwald: The Survival of a Primeval Forest

How did this forest persist untouched through time? By Dr. Bernhard E. Splechtna (left) and Karl Splechtna (right)Bernard Splechtna: Professor of Environmental History, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)Karl Splechtna: Managing Forest Director, Retired When Albert Rothschild came to visit his summer and hunting residence in Holzhüttenboden, the first thing was to saddle[…]

Versailles’ Drinking Water and the Last Service of the Marly Machine, 1859–1963

Since the foundation of Versailles by King Louis XIV, the city often lacked water. In 1859 Versailles and its more than twenty neighboring communities were presented with the new Marly Machine—a hydraulic pump that formed the cornerstone of Versailles’ drinking water supply. This event reinforced the dependence of Versailles on the Seine River and the[…]

An Endless Sediment Story: The First Five Decades of the Canal de Marseille

Up until this epoch, water resources consisted of an old and damaged medieval aqueduct. Operational since 1847, the 80 kilometer long Canal de Marseille, built by famous Swiss civil engineer Franz Mayor de Montricher, has allowed great improvement in the water supply in the city of Marseille, southeast of France. Indeed, during the first quarter[…]

The Dantean Anomaly (1309-1321): Rapid Climate Change in Late Medieval Europe with a Global Perspective

In the last years of his life, Dante Alighieri was an unsuspecting witness to a rapid shift in climatic conditions that led to cooler and wetter weather all over the continent. I am in the third circle, filled with cold,  / unending, heavy, and accursed rain; / its measure and its kind are never changed.[…]

The Arctic is Thawing Much Faster than Expected, Scientists Warn

NEWTOK, AK – JULY 06: The marshy, tundra landscape surrounding Newtok is seen from a plane on July 6, 2015 outside Newtok, Alaska. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) From Chris Mooney at the Washington Post / 03.23.2016: Amid blowout warm temperatures in the Arctic this year, two newstudies have amplified concerns about one of the[…]