NEWS via NGS: Genghis Khan’s Secret Weapon Was Rain

March 14, 2014 // 0 Comments

Tree-ring studies suggest that a long wet spell gave him the resources to invade and conquer. Some 800 years ago, ancestors of modern Mongolians conquered the world on horseback. A period of unusually mild weather may have helped propel them by making them rich in livestock. Roff Smith National Geographic PUBLISHED MARCH 10, 2014 For unsuspecting herdsmen in the 13th century, April showers didn’t bring May flowers—they brought Mongol hordes. New research by tree-ring scientists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and West Virginia University may have uncovered the reason why an obscure band of nomadic Mongol horsemen were able to sweep through much of Asia in a few meteoric decades 800 years ago, conquering everything in their path: They enjoyed an unprecedented, and yet-to-be-repeated, 15-year run of bountiful rains and mild weather on the normally cold and arid steppes. By sampling tree rings in the gnarled and twisted Siberian pines in the [...]
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