The Earth Transformed – An Untold Story

We live at a time when climate and nature feel like staging a cataclysmic revenge. In this groundbreaking book, Peter Frankopan, tells the hitherto untold story of how mankind was always in a cosmic battle most of us were doomed to lose


The Earth Transformed. An Untold Story.
By Peter Frankopan
Bloomsbury, 2023
ISBN 9781526622587


A revolutionary new history that reveals how climate change has dramatically shaped the development—and demise—of civilizations across time

Global warming is one of the greatest dangers mankind faces today. Even as temperatures increase, sea levels rise, and natural disasters escalate, our current environmental crisis feels difficult to predict and understand. But climate change and its effects on us are not new. In a bold narrative that spans centuries and continents, Peter Frankopan argues that nature has always played a fundamental role in the writing of history. From the fall of the Moche civilization in South America that came about because of the cyclical pressures of El Niño to volcanic eruptions in Iceland that affected Egypt and helped bring the Ottoman empire to its knees, climate change and its influences have always been with us.

Frankopan explains how the Vikings emerged thanks to catastrophic crop failure, why the roots of regime change in eleventh-century Baghdad lay in the collapse of cotton prices resulting from unusual climate patterns, and why the western expansion of the frontiers in North America was directly affected by solar flare activity in the eighteenth century. Again and again, Frankopan shows that when past empires have failed to act sustainably, they have been met with catastrophe. Blending brilliant historical writing and cutting-edge scientific research, The Earth Transformed will radically reframe the way we look at the world and our future.


  • The World from the Dawn of Time
  • On the origins of our Species
  • The First Cities and Trade Networks
  • On the Risks of living Beyond One’s Means
  • The First Age of Connectivity
  • Regarding Nature and the Divine
  • The Steppe Frontier and Formation of Empires
  • The Roman Warm Period
  • The Crisis of Late Antiquity
  • The Golden Age of Empire
  • The Medieval warm Period
  • Disease and the Formation of a New World
  • One the Expansion of Ecological Horizons
  • The Fusion of the Old and the New Worlds
  • On the Exploitation of Nature and People
  • The Little Ice Age
  • Concerning Great and Little Divergences
  • Industry, Extraction and the Natural World
  • The Age of Turbulence
  • Fashioning New Utopias
  • Reshaping the Global Environment
  • The Sharpening of Anxieties
  • On the Edge of Ecological Limits


Peter Frankopan is professor of global history at Oxford University. He is the author of The First Crusade: The Call from the East, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, and The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. He lives in Oxford.


Get our Medieval News with links to our premium content

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.