How climate change benefitted … Genghis Khan?

How climate change benefitted … Genghis Khan?

A long period of warm, wet weather spanning several decades helped one of history’s most fearsome tyrants to conquer most of Asia and Eastern Europe and form the largest continuous land empire the world has known, a study has found.

Genghis Khan owes his place in history to a sudden shift in the Asiatic climate from the cold, arid period that immediately preceded his ascent as leader of the Mongol empire, to the warmer, wetter weather that allowed his horsemen to expand out from Central Asia.

Scientists studying ancient Siberia pine trees in central Mongolia that date back nearly 2,000 years believe that Khan’s rise to power coincided precisely with a period of unusually heavy rainfall over a couple of decades which allowed the arid grasslands of the Asian Steppe to flourish.

Richer, more productive pastures for the herds of war horses on which the Mongols depended for their nomadic lifestyle helped Khan’s invading armies to take territory as far east as China, as far south as Afghanistan and as far west as Russia and Hungary, the researchers said.

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