Trifonov, V.G., 2010. Tectonic and climatic rhythms and the development of society. In: Florinsky, I.V. (Ed.), Man and the Geosphere. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 257–305.
The author discusses the short-period (years to decades) and medium-period (hundreds to thousands years) variations of climatic and tectonic activity and their influences on the human history and recent life. At a regional scale, it is demonstrated that for the last 170 years periodic changes of the Caspian Sea level are the combined result of the water balance variations (mainly caused by climatic changes) and the recent tectonic activity partly manifested by seismicity. The influence of active tectonics consists in the integral effect of various deformations producing changes in the Caspian reservoir volume. Phases of the sea-level fall correspond to the growth of seismicity under the Caspian basins that indicates the extension and sinking of the reservoir. Phases of the sea-level rise correspond to the growth of seismicity under the adjacent uplifts and their slopes that indicates transverse shortening of the reservoir and a decrease in its volume. The climatic and tectonic processes influence the Caspian level mainly in the same direction. The global observations show that the 11-yr and multiple-of-11-yr cyclicity is the most significant among the recent short-period variations of climatic and tectonic activity. This cyclicity influences the economic activity of the society.
The ~1,200-yr (~1,800-yr in one case) cycles are the most important among the medium-period variations of climatic and tectonic activity (i.e., fault movements, earthquakes, and volcanism) in the Middle and Late Holocene. These cycles contributed to the historical crises, which were characterized by social unrest and mass migrations, and changed the balance of political forces. On the other hand, the crises determined breakthroughs to new technologies and new forms of economic and political relations. The crises were manifested in the Alpine–Himalayan orogenic belt and East European Platform. Perhaps they covered the entire Northern hemisphere.
Synchronism of climatic and tectonic events in both short- and medium-term oscillations is possibly caused by the difference in the rotational velocity of the liquid outer core and mantle (the dominant factor), periodic changes in the Earth’s orbital parameters, as well as solar activity. Multiple-of-11-yr cycles correlate with the periodic changes in solar activity, whereas the 1,200-yr cycle is associated with the precession of the geomagnetic axis around the Earth’s rotational axis. The short- and medium-period variations of climatic and tectonic activity should be considered in planning the sustainable development of the society.