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How Can Archaeology Help Us Adapt To Climate Change?

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Courtesy of Isabel Rivera-Collazo

Isabel Rivera-Collazo is pictured in Manati, Puerto Rico. She was studying petroglyphs that had been exposed by coastal erosion after a storm event.

Photo credit: Courtesy of UCSD

Isabel Rivera-Collazo is pictured in this undated photo.

How Can Archaeology Help Us Adapt To Climate Change?


Isabel Rivera-Collazo, assistant professor, Department of Anthropology at UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Climate scientists can tell us a lot about why and how our climate is changing. But not how we're supposed to adapt to it.

This is the first time human activity is the major cause of climate change. However, other factors have, through the centuries, caused radical shifts in the earth's climate.

San Diego archaeologist Isabel Rivera-Collazo studies how humans have adapted to these previous changes.

"Archaeology has the possibility of recovering histories and lessons of completed events that we can contribute to the future to be able to provide variables that will be able to fit into models that we can then build predictions of how humans respond," she said.

Rivera-Collazo is an assistant professor on biological, ecological and human adaptations to climate change at the Department of Anthropology at UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She joins us on Monday's Midday Edition to discuss what archaeology can teach us about adapting to climate change.


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