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Global Change Effects on the Archaeological and Paleoecological Record--Identification and Response

Background

This working group is focused on global climate change and the attendant serious threats to the global archeological record.  Archaeological sites and the associated paleoecological record hold a great amount of the data that are needed to place human ecodynamics in the broad spatial and temporal perspective that is essential to developing a meaningful and actionable understanding of ecodynamics, particularly as related to humans.  Such an understanding would seem to be vital for to efforts to support and increase sustainability and resilience the faces of changes which appear to be inevitable.

Global change-related threats include: increased coastal erosion (due to sea level rise, possible increases in number and/or strength of storms, and diminished sea ice in Polar regions), increased riverine erosion (due to increases in precipitation amount or intensity and increases in glacial melting), drying of waterlogged sites and bogs (due to hydrological changes), changes in land use which result in greater ground disturbance (due to changing conditions for agriculture or displacement of populations from more threatened areas).  In northern areas the warming and thawing of permafrost is a major threat to the archaeological and paleoecological record.

Membership

Membership of this working group is open to all GHEA members who are concerned with the effects of global change phenomena on the archaeological and paleoecological record.   Initial focus is on methods of identification of threats, development of threat matrices to assist in prioritizing action, development of methods to mitigate threats (where possible), as well as ways to engage the broader research communities which can use such data.

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