Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I'm going to stop here, because adding population (with stressers, birth and death rates and other social issues) is beyond the scope of this exercise. But just watching it run is pretty telling - especially when you use some of the ranges implied by Peterson and Haug.
It's pretty easy to see how extreme drought (.15 multiplier on typical annual rainfall) is devastating to even the most rain-heavy location, and even modest drought (.8 multiplier) makes things very difficult at the low end of the rainfall range. Interesting to watch - and I'll have to throw some population simulation at this some day.
Added note: Tim asked me to touch on cenotes, a feature of the northern Yucatin that allowed access to groundwater through sinkholes. These natural openings provided access to water, so that northern Mayans were not entirely dependent on captured rainwater. However, Classic Mayans in the southern regions were at a higher elevation, and these features were not available. The Peterson/Haug study seems to focus on the southern region - probably for simplicity - and my modeling follows the premises of that study.