Climate as a contributing factor in the demise of Angkor, Cambodia
- Climate as a contributing factor in the demise of Angkor, Cambodia
- Buckley, Brendan M.
Cook, Edward R.
Nam, Le Canh
Minh, Ton That
Hong, Truong Mai
- Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- Persistent URL:
- Book/Journal Title:
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- Geographic Area:
- Cambodia--Angkor (Extinct city)
- The “hydraulic city” of Angkor, the capitol of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia, experienced decades-long drought interspersed with intense monsoons in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that, in combination with other factors, contributed to its eventual demise. The climatic evidence comes from a seven-and-a-half century robust hydroclimate reconstruction from tropical southern Vietnamese tree rings. The Angkor droughts were of a duration and severity that would have impacted the sprawling city’s water supply and agricultural productivity, while high-magnitude monsoon years damaged its water control infrastructure. Hydroclimate variability for this region is strongly and inversely correlated with tropical Pacific sea surface temperature, indicating that a warm Pacific and El Niño events induce drought at interannual and interdecadal time scales, and that low-frequency variations of tropical Pacific climate can exert significant influence over Southeast Asian climate and society.
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- Suggested Citation:
- Brendan M. Buckley, Kevin Anchukaitis, Daniel Penny, Roland Fletcher, Edward R. Cook, Masaki Sano, Le Canh Nam, Aroonrut Wichienkeeo, Ton That Minh, Truong Mai Hong, 2010, Climate as a contributing factor in the demise of Angkor, Cambodia, Columbia University Academic Commons, https://doi.org/10.7916/D8WH2VQS.