It is now widely accepted that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are causing higher global atmospheric temperatures. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the likely effects of such a temperature rise on climate, and even more about the impacts of climate change and variability on the world's hydrological regimes and socio-economic systems. Studying the effects of climate variability in the past can give clues as to possible future effects. This volume provides a comprehensive review of the effects of climate variability on hydrological and human systems in the Holocene (the last 10,000 years), in various parts of the world. The book concentrates on the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea, western and central Europe, China, Japan, West and South Africa and the southwestern USA. This book will be of value to researchers and professionals in hydrology, climatology, geology and historical geography.