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History may help us survive climate change

LEICESTER, England, June 1 (UPI) -- British scientists say history might help people mitigate the worst effects of climate change by teaching how our ancestors adapted to similar occurrences.

Research led by the University of Leicester suggests people today and in future generations should look to the past to determine how our ancestors coped with the dangers of rising sea levels, crop failures and extreme weather conditions.

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Jago Cooper of the university's School of Archaeology and Ancient History led researchers from Britain, Cuba and Canada in studying the archeology of climate change in the Caribbean.

"Populations in the Caribbean, from 5000 BC to AD 1492 successfully lived through a (16-foot) rise in relative sea levels, marked variation in annual rainfall and periodic intensification of hurricane activity," Cooper said.

"This research examines the archaeological lessons that can inform current responses to the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean," Cooper added. "A key focus of the research has been to investigate past mitigation of the impacts of climate change through the analysis of changes in settlement structures, food procurement strategies and household architecture."

The research is detailed in New Scientist magazine.

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