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Thread: Climate effects on archaic human habitats and species successions

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    Climate effects on archaic human habitats and species successions

    It has long been believed that climate shifts during the last 2 million years had a pivotal role in the evolution of our genus Homo1,2,3. However, given the limited number of representative palaeo-climate datasets from regions of anthropological interest, it has remained challenging to quantify this linkage. Here, we use an unprecedented transient Pleistocene coupled general circulation model simulation in combination with an extensive compilation of fossil and archaeological records to study the spatiotemporal habitat suitability for five hominin species over the past 2 million years. We show that astronomically forced changes in temperature, rainfall and terrestrial net primary production had a major impact on the observed distributions of these species. During the Early Pleistocene, hominins settled primarily in environments with weak orbital-scale climate variability. This behaviour changed substantially after the mid-Pleistocene transition, when archaic humans became global wanderers who adapted to a wide range of spatial climatic gradients. Analysis of the simulated hominin habitat overlap from approximately 300–400 thousand years ago further suggests that antiphased climate disruptions in southern Africa and Eurasia contributed to the evolutionary transformation of Homo heidelbergensis populations into Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, respectively. Our robust numerical simulations of climate-induced habitat changes provide a framework to test hypotheses on our human origin.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s415...-04600-9#Sec17

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    It's what one would expect given what we know of evolution, but studies like this need to be conducted to quantify it as much as possible.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's what one would expect given what we know of evolution, but studies like this need to be conducted to quantify it as much as possible.
    yes, it's an interesting topic
    but I feel the resolution of both the climate model and the human dispersion model are not high enough yet to get a clear view of what actualy happened

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur 2 View Post
    yes, it's an interesting topic
    but I feel the resolution of both the climate model and the human dispersion model are not high enough yet to get a clear view of what actualy happened
    Chris Springer and his team that published the paper in Nature Berger et al. (2021) "Origins of modern human ancestry" agree with you and have already commented on this paper and don't think this new paper totally explains what happened.
    Last edited by Palermo Trapani; 16-04-22 at 22:56. Reason: editing

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