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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter serves as an introduction to and reference for climate–human behavior studies in the Southwest. These studies investigate potential climatic impacts on social change and historical trajectories. To build foundational understanding, a representative climate–human behavior model is presented and evaluated, commonly used paleoclimatic data are detailed, and methods for identifying climate extremes (e.g., droughts, wet periods) in these data are described. Some extreme climate events and the challenge of identifying their influence (if any) on social change are noted. A familiarity with these aspects of climate–human behavior studies is essential for effectively evaluating interpretations of historical trajectories that invoke climatic influences.

Keywords: paleoclimate, Southwest, climate extremes, climate-human behavior, social change

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