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An Inconvenient Truth 1000 Years Ago

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Title: An Inconvenient Truth 1000 Years Ago
Author(s): Piscitelli, Matthew
Abstract: Although the fluffy white clouds in the sky above the Wari archaeological site of Cerro Baúl (500-1,000 A.D) may seem harmless, in southern Peru they are harbingers of drastic environmental changes. El Niño is a climatic event that occurs in the Pacific Ocean and radically alters the local environment, bringing catastrophic flash floods to the normally arid coast of Peru as well as drought and bitter cold to the highlands. This photo, taken in the summertime when blue skies are the norm, captures an unusual amount of clouds that foretell a coming El Niño. Such environmental disasters would have devastated the ancient inhabitants of the region and my archaeological research in the area of Cerro Baúl has been focused on determining what, if any, impact El Niño made have had on this past society and whether a deteriorating climate affected its collapse.
Issue Date: 2010
Type: Image
Description: Finalist in 2010 in The Image of Research, a competition for students in graduate or professional degree programs at UIC, sponsored by UIC's Graduate College and the University Library. Images of award recipients and honorable mention images on exhibition in the Richard J. Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences, April 15-May 31, 2010.
Date Available in INDIGO: 2011-04-14

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