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Archaeologists Sweating Over Climate Change

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorFebruary 11, 2009 8:00 AM


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In the unofficial climate change anxiety index, you won't find archaeology ranked very high. That's understandable. If the worst scenarios come to pass, the world will be in a heap of trouble and people are going to worry about saving themselves, not the remains of ancient civilizations. But in the meantime, archaeologists are sounding the alarm in their own circles. An article in the March/April issue of Archaeology magazine catalogs the degradation of numerous ruins from melting glaciers, desertification, and floods. Action may require quick action, the magazine reports, such as "documenting sites before they disappear," and "in some places, simple steps like putting roofs over melting or rain-threatened areas" to preserve them. That's called adaptation. You'll be hearing that term a lot in the years to come.

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