Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Maritime Archaeology and Climate Change: An Invitation

Abstract

Maritime archaeology has a tremendous capacity to engage with climate change science. The field is uniquely positioned to support climate change research and the understanding of past human adaptations to climate change. Maritime archaeological data can inform on environmental shifts and submerged sites can serve as an important avenue for public outreach by mobilizing public interest and action towards understanding the impacts of climate change. Despite these opportunities, maritime archaeologists have not fully developed a role within climate change science and policy. Moreover, submerged site vulnerabilities stemming from climate change impacts are not yet well understood. This article discusses potential climate change threats to maritime archaeological resources, the challenges confronting cultural resource managers, and the contributions maritime archaeology can offer to climate change science. Maritime archaeology’s ability to both support and benefit from climate change science argues its relevant and valuable place in the global climate change dialogue, but also reveals the necessity for our heightened engagement.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Archer D, Kheshgi H, Maier-Reimer E (1998) Dynamics of fossil fuel CO2 neutralization by marine CaCO3. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 12:259–276

  2. Beavers R, Babson AL, Schupp CA (eds) (2016) Coastal adaptation strategies handbook. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRR-2015, National Park Service, Fort Collins

  3. Blanchette R, Held B, Jurgens J, Haight J (2004) Wood deterioration in Chacoan great houses of the southwestern United States. Conserv Manag Archaeol Sites 6:203–212

  4. Carpenter J, MacLeod I, Richards V (2009) Conserving the WWII wrecks of truk lagoon. In: Richards V, McKinnon J (eds) In situ conservation of cultural heritage: public, professionals, and preservation. The PAST Foundation, Columbus, pp 32–39

  5. Church JA, White NJ (2011) Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Surv Geophys 32:585–602

  6. Conlin DL (ed) (2005) USS housatonic: site assessment. National Park Service, Submerged Resources Center Professional Report Number 19, Santa Fe

  7. Cornell S, Costanza R, Sörlin S, van der Leeuw S (2010) Developing a systematic science of the past to create our future. Glob Environ Change 20:426–427

  8. Cronyn JM (1990) The elements of archaeological conservation. Routledge, London

  9. (DOE) U. S. Department of Energy (1993) DOE fundamentals handbook of chemistry, vol 1 of 2. U. S. Department of Energy, Washington, DC

  10. Dunkley M (2008) Protected wreck sites at risk: a risk management handbook. Historic England, Portsmouth

  11. Dunkley M (2015) Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get: managing the potential effects of climate change on underwater cultural heritage. In: Willems W, van Shaik H (eds) Water and heritage: material, conceptual, and spiritual connections. Sidestone Press, Leiden, pp 217–230

  12. Ellis J (2010) Montana’s melting glaciers: the poster-child for climate change. CNN news. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/10/06/montana.glaciers.climate/.Accessed 28 April 2016

  13. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) (2015) Climate change indicators in the United States: sea surface temperature. EPA Climate Change. Accessed Dec 2015. http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/sea-surface-temp.html

  14. (FOCC) Florida Oceans and Coastal Council (2010) Climate change and sea-level rise in Florida: an update of “the effects of climate change on Florida’s ocean and coastal resources” [2009 report], Tallahassee

  15. (FPAN) Florida Public Archaeology Network (2016) Sea level rise: understanding the impacts on resources workshop flyer. Florida Public Archaeology Network. http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/nerc/eventDetail.php?eventID=532. Accessed 26 May 2016

  16. Gadsby DA, Cochran L (2016) Mapping near-historical climate impacts to coastal sites. Paper presented at the 49th Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Washington, DC

  17. Garner KL, Chang MY, Fulda MT, Berlin JA, Freed RE, Soo-Hoo MM, Revell DL, Ikegami M, Flint LE, Flint AL, Kendall BE (2015) Impacts of sea level rise and climate change on coastal plant species in the central California coast. PeerJ 3:e958. doi:10.7717/peerj.958

  18. Grinsted A, Moore JC, Jevrejeva S (2010) Reconstructing sea level from paleo and projected temperatures 200 to 2100 AD. Clim Dyn 34:461–472. doi:10.1007/s00382-008-0507-2

  19. Hudson MJ, Aoyama M, Hoover KC, Uchiyama J (2012) Prospects and challenges for an archaeology of global climate change. WIREs Clim Change 3(4):313–328. doi:10.1002/wcc.174

  20. (IPCC) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (2013) Summary for policymakers. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate change 2013: the physical science basis. contribution of working group I to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  21. (IPCC) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: synthesis report. In: Core Writing Team, Pachauri RK, Meyer LA (eds) Contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. IPCC, Geneva

  22. (IPCC) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC (2014a) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. In: Field CB, Barros VR, Dokken DJ, Mach KJ, Mastrandrea MD, Bilir TE, Chatterjee M, Ebi KL, Estrada YO, Genova RC, Girma B, Kissel ES, Levy AN, MacCracken S, Mastrandrea PR, White LL (eds) Contribution of working group II to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

  23. Jevrejeva S, Moore JC, Grinsted A (2012) Sea level projections to AD 2500 with a new generation of climate change scenarios. Glob Planet Change 80–81:14–20. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.09.006

  24. Keller JA, Sherwood CR, Marano J, Lawson C, Beavers R (2014) HMS Fowey pre-stabilization report, Biscayne National Park. Submerged Resources Center Technical Report No. 33, National Park Service, Lakewood

  25. Kleypas JA, Feely RA, Fabry VJ, Langdon C, Sabine CL, Robbins LL (2006) Impacts of ocean acidification on coral reefs and other marine calcifiers: a guide for future research, report of a workshop held 18–20 April 2005, St. Petersburg, FL, sponsored by NSF, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey

  26. Lawson C, Marano J (2013) Research design for archeological documentation in advance of the stabilization of the HMS Fowey shipwreck site (BISC-20, 8DA11948). Submitted to the National Park Service, Biscayne National Park, Homestead

  27. Melillo JM, Richmond TTC, Yohe GW (eds) (2014) Climate change impacts in the United States: the third national climate assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program

  28. Mitchell P (2008) Practising archaeology at a time of climatic catastrophe. Antiquity 82:1093–1103

  29. Murphy L (1981) An experiment to determine the effects of wet/dry cycling on certain common cultural materials. In: The final report of the national reservoir inundation study, volume 2, technical report, Daniel J. Lenihan, Toni L. Carrell, Stephen Fosberg, Larry Murphy, Sandra L. Rayl and John A. Ware, contributors. National Park Service, Southwest Cultural Resources Center, Santa Fe

  30. (NOAA) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2015) Extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST.v3b). National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed April 2015. www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ersst

  31. North NA, Macleod ID (1987) Corrosion of metals. In: Pearson C (ed) Conservation of marine archaeological objects. Butterworths, London

  32. Ortmann N (2009) Exploring practioners’ attitudes towards in situ preservation and storage for underwater cultural heritage. Master’s thesis, Flinders University, Adelaide

  33. Oxley I (1998) The environment of historic shipwreck sites: a review of the preservation of materials, site formation and site environmental assessment. Master of Science thesis, University of St. Andrews, Scotland

  34. Pershern S, Keller J, Conlin D (2014) Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, assessment and long-term management strategy recommendations for Charles H. Spencer: a 20th century paddle wheel steamer on the banks of the Colorado River. National Park Service, Submerged Resources Center Technical Report No. 35, Lakewood

  35. Rahel FJ, Olden JD (2008) Assessing the effects of climate change on aquatic invasive species. Conserv Biol 22(3):521–533

  36. Rahmstorf S, Foster G, Cazenave A (2012) Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011. Environ Res Lett 7:044035. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044035

  37. Richards V, McKinnon J (2009) In situ conservation of cultural heritage: public, professionals, and preservation. The PAST Foundation, Columbus

  38. Ries JB, Cohen AL, McCorkle DC (2009) Marine calcifiers exhibit mixed responses to CO2-induced ocean acidification. Geology 37(12):1131–1134

  39. Rockman M (2012) The necessary roles of archaeology in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In: Rockman M, Flatman J (eds) Archaeology in society: its relevance in the modern world. Springer, Berlin

  40. Rockman M (2015) An NPS framework for addressing climate response. George Wright Forum 32(1):37–50

  41. Russell MA (1997) Glacier National Park submerged cultural resources assessment. National Park Service, Submerged Cultural Resource Unit, Santa Fe

  42. Russell MA, Conlin DL, Murphy LE, Johnson DL, Wilson BM, Carr JD (2006) A minimum-impact method for measuring corrosion rate of steel-hulled shipwrecks in seawater. Int J Naut Archaeol 35(2):310–318

  43. Saunders MI, Leon J, Phinn SR, Callaghan DP, O’Brien KR, Roelfsema CM, Lovelock CE, Lyons MB, Mumby PJ (2013) Coastal retreat and improved water quality mitigate losses of seagrass from sea level rise. Glob Change Biol 19:2569–2583. doi:10.1111/gcb.12218

  44. (SHA) Society for Historical Archaeology (2016) SYM-477, the most important contribution historical archaeology can make to the situation of climate change. Marcy Rockman and David Gadsby, organizers. Symposium at the 49th annual conference on historical and underwater archaeology, Washington, DC

  45. Spalding MJ (2011) Perverse sea change: underwater cultural heritage in the ocean is facing chemical and physical changes. Cultural and heritage arts review, pp 12–16. The Ocean Foundation, Washington, DC

  46. Staniforth M, Shefi DG (2010) Protecting underwater cultural heritage: a review of in situ preservation approaches to underwater cultural heritage and some directions for the future. In: 2010 World universities congress proceedings volume II. Canakkale Onseklz Mart University, Canakkale, Turkey, pp 1546–1552

  47. U. S. Navy (2008) U. S. Navy diving manual, revision 6. Naval Sea System Command, U. S. Navy, Washington, DC

  48. (UNESCO) United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (2015) COP 21—the importance of underwater cultural heritage for understanding climate change. UNESCO Media Services, 24-11-2015, Culture sector. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/cop_21_the_importance_of_underwater_cultural_heritage_for_understanding_climate_change/#.V0cXWPkwhmM. Accessed 26 May 2016

  49. Van Cappellen V (2015) Climate change can dramatically increase invasive mussel numbers. University of Waterloo. Accessed 26 April 2016. http://uwaterloo.ca/stories/climate-change-can-dramatically-increase-invasive-mussel

  50. Van de Noort R (2011) Conceptualising climate change archaeology. Antiquity 85:1039–1048

  51. Vermeer M, Rahmstorf S (2009) Global sea level linked to global temperature. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:21527–21532. doi:10.1073/pnas.0907765106

  52. Walsh J, Wuebbles D, Hayhoe K, Kossin J, Kunkel K, Stephens G, Thorne P, Vose R, Wehner M, Willis J, Anderson D, Doney S, Feely R, Hennon P, Kharin V, Knutson T, Landerer F, Lenton T, Kennedy J, Somerville R (2014) Chapter 2. Our changing climate. In: Melillo JM, Richmond TTC, Yohe GW (eds) Climate change impacts in the United States: The third national climate assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, pp 19–67. doi:10.7930/J0KW5CXT

  53. Watzin MC, Cohn AB, Emerson BP (2001) Zebra mussels, shipwrecks, and the environment. Final report, University of Vermont, School of Natural Resources, Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Burlington, VT

  54. Westerdahl C (1992) The maritime cultural landscape. Int J Naut Archaeol 21(1):5–14

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Jeneva Wright.

Ethics declarations

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This research was conducted by an employee of the U.S. National Park Service, Department of Interior; the author received no specific compensation for this article.

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wright, J. Maritime Archaeology and Climate Change: An Invitation. J Mari Arch 11, 255–270 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11457-016-9164-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Maritime archaeology
  • Climate change
  • Marine environment
  • Management
  • Conservation
  • Public outreach