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Climate and the Rise of the 13th Century Mongol Empire

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On October 4th, Neil Pederson, Lamont Assistant Research Professor at Tree Ring Laboratory of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University, gave a talk on historical climate change, and half of the lecture was on the role of climate change in the rise of the Mongol Empire.

Dr. Pederson’s talk was split into two halves. The first half was on tree growth in the Eastern United States, however the second half was on his work in Mongolia. Some of his recent work, which he talked about, was on using the rings to analyze the state of the environment during major periods of Mongolian history, including the Mongol Empire. Dr. Pederson spoke on how he and his team discovered the tree rings reveal that during the early period of Chinggis Khan’s empire, of the great expansion from Mongolia into North China and Central Asia, Mongolia was under a very wet period. This research offers a new interpretation of a key event in the rise of Chinggis Khan's Mongol Empire, a pivotal moment in world history.

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Neil Pederson
Presentation Date: 
Friday, October 4, 2013
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