Climate change likely drove early human species to extinction, modeling study suggests

CELL PRESS

Research News

Of the six or more different species of early humans, all belonging to the genus Homo, only we Homo sapiens have managed to survive. Now, a study reported in the journal One Earth on October 15 combining climate modeling and the fossil record in search of clues to what led to all those earlier extinctions of our ancient ancestors suggests that climate change–the inability to adapt to either warming or cooling temperatures–likely played a major role in sealing their fate.

“Our findings show that despite technological innovations including the use of fire and refined stone tools, the formation of complex social networks, and–in the case of Neanderthals–even the production of glued spear points, fitted clothes, and a good amount of cultural and genetic exchange with Homo sapiens, past Homo species could not survive intense climate change,” says Pasquale Raia of Università di Napoli Federico II in Napoli, Italy. “They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”

To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens, the researchers relied on a high-resolution past climate emulator, which provides temperature, rainfall, and other data over the last 5 million years. They also looked to an extensive fossil database spanning more than 2,750 archaeological records to model the evolution of Homo species’ climatic niche over time. The goal was to understand the climate preferences of those early humans and how they reacted to changes in climate.

Their studies offer robust evidence that three Homo species–H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis–lost a significant portion of their climatic niche just before going extinct. They report that this reduction coincided with sharp, unfavorable changes in the global climate. In the case of Neanderthals, things were likely made even worse by competition with H. sapiens.

“We were surprised by the regularity of the effect of climate change,” Raia says. “It was crystal clear, for the extinct species and for them only, that climatic conditions were just too extreme just before extinction and only in that particular moment.”

Raia notes that there is uncertainty in paleoclimatic reconstruction, the identification of fossil remains at the level of species, and the aging of fossil sites. But, he says, the main insights “hold true under all assumptions.” The findings may serve as a kind of warning to humans today as we face unprecedented changes in the climate, Raia says.

“It is worrisome to discover that our ancestors, which were no less impressive in terms of mental power as compared to any other species on Earth, could not resist climate change,” he said. “And we found that just when our own species is sawing the branch we’re sitting on by causing climate change. I personally take this as a thunderous warning message. Climate change made Homo vulnerable and hapless in the past, and this may just be happening again.”

###

This work was supported by MCTIC/CNPq/FAPEG.

One Earth, Raia et al.: “Past extinctions of Homo species coincided with increased vulnerability to climatic change” https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(20)30476-0

One Earth (@OneEarth_CP), published by Cell Press, is a monthly journal that features papers from the fields of natural, social, and applied sciences. One Earth is the home for high-quality research that seeks to understand and address today’s environmental grand challenges, publishing across the spectrum of environmental change and sustainability science. Visit http://www.cell.com/one-earth. To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact press@cell.com.

From EurekAlert!

193 thoughts on “Climate change likely drove early human species to extinction, modeling study suggests

      • Their problem wasn’t one of adapting to the ever changing climate but rather of being able to compete with better versions of humanity. It is hard to survive if your more modern neighbor has or can create better technology than you have and you can’t develop better competing technology yourself

        • “Their problem wasn’t one of adapting to the ever changing climate but rather of being able to compete with better versions of humanity. It is hard to survive if your more modern neighbor has or can create better technology than you have and you can’t develop better competing technology yourself.”

          It isn’t just the ability to create better technology, but the will to do the damn work required to survive.

          Our survival will thus depend on regular people just living their lives, while woke, progressive, leftist, extinction rebellion, social justice warrior snowflakes expire in their parents’ basements or rioting in the streets…

      • None of the other Homos could stop climate change and neither can Homo Sapiens.

        The only choice is to adapt.

        With 10 billion people, there may not be enough caves and wild life to succeed.

        Massive extinction will take place.

        Will we become cannibals again?

        • Donèt exagerate, there are only 7.5b illion and the peak projeection has been falling since pêople stared making such projections. It is now projected to be 9 billion.

          Imagine if the planet became 2 centigrade warmer oveall., very unlikely in my opinion, then the vast expansion of viable arable land in Canada and Russia, the two great Northern landmasses, will be able to produce more food for more billions. Why the pessimism?

        • Stopping anthropogenic climate change is easy.
          Get the Greens to withdraw their anti-dam, anti-nuke and anti-fracking policies.

          Cheap energy brings wealth which brings population decline.

      • There was a bumper sticker around in the 1980s, satirizing in one phrase perhaps all of the “activist” movements of the time. It read: “STOP PLATE TECTONICS!”

        That says it all, does it not?

      • Bravo. Best comment.

        We adapted to the savannah by walking upright; we llived as scavangers. We developed basic tools (rocks) to ward off hyenas and cut up the caryon and break the bones. We then developed control of combustion, which lead to a rapid increase in brain size because we could get more nutrition from our food. From there, it is all inevitable. Our command of nature and its forces will continue to grow. We will spread throughout the universe.

        But, please, spare me the models, this is just BS and magical quackery to convince the natives.

    • Naw, you’re just a figment of your own imagination.
      Modeled humans have experienced extinction level events since models were created.
      Fortunately life doesn’t imitate models and humans still exist.
      Take a deep breath and let it out slowly, everylittlething is gonna be alright

      • Had they mastered the use of fossil fuels, to drive their heating and air conditioning, they wouldn’t have gone extinct

    • People who believe this walk among us. Scary.

      Climate preferences – yay got another BS phrase for my climate bullsh!t bingo list.

    • Jimmy

      As per this article, 5 of 6 homo species were wiped out………by cold.

      Cold is bad, it’s just bad.

      Why do the clinically insane want us to get cold and die?

      • Yes, this nonsense is very common. This article confirms that cold is very bad for humanity, now and in the distant past. Possibly without exceptions, when human civilisations died it was at a time of cooling, not warming. And the extinctions cited in the article were at a time of cooling, not warming.

        With that in mind, these words are breath-taking:
        ““It is worrisome to discover that our ancestors, which were no less impressive in terms of mental power as compared to any other species on Earth, could not resist climate change,” he said. “And we found that just when our own species is sawing the branch we’re sitting on by causing climate change. I personally take this as a thunderous warning message. Climate change made Homo vulnerable and hapless in the past, and this may just be happening again.”

        This political scientist seems to be incapable of perceiving the difference between warm and cold. As well as despicable, it is mind-numbingly stupid.

        Of course, in reality this article proves what sceptics have been saying for decades: warm is good, cold is bad. It’s no surprise that mankind prospers during the warm periods and suffers during the cold periods.
        Chris

        • I side with your despicable comment more and with the stupid comment less. I think these people know what they are doing. It looks like stupidity to us because we have trouble imagining that people could be so malicious – but they are.

  1. The text of the post reads:
    “To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens, the researchers relied on a high-resolution past climate emulator, which provides temperature, rainfall, and other data over the last 5 million years. They also looked to an extensive fossil database spanning more than 2,750 archaeological records to model the evolution of Homo species’ climatic niche over time. The goal was to understand the climate preferences of those early humans and how they reacted to changes in climate.”

    Oy vey! And someone paid for this nonsense?

    Regards,
    Bob

    PS: Stay safe and healthy, all.

    • ““To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens”

      When exactly did H. sapiens go extinct?

    • Staying healthy is a clear and valid goal. But, getting up in the morning is clearly unsafe, as gravity immediately tries to bring you down and does so for the rest of the day. Other factors then add into your unsafety for your day—stairs and leaving the house simply increase your risk. Being “safe” is to do nothing—you could always choke at breakfast and die. For that matter, you could also throw a clot at night and wake up dead. Safe does not apply to life.

    • “To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens, the researchers relied on a high-resolution past climate emulator, which provides temperature, rainfall, and other data over the last 5 million years…”

      May as well have read:

      “To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species including H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens, the researchers relied on a time machine, to provide direct measurement of temperature, rainfall, and other data over the last 5 million years…”

      The latter statement would be just as credible.

      Max P

    • The goal was to understand the climate preferences of those early humans and how they reacted to changes in climate.”
      They preferred a warmer climate and moved south. There, that’s your free scientific revelation of the day.

      • Strange that the authors didn’t share whether HS went extinct because it got too cold or too warm? Surely their high fidelity climate emulator would tell them that?

    • The authors argue that climate change must have done in H. erectus, because his youngest fossils are from c. 112 Ka in Java (actually 117-108 Ka).

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1863-2

      This was during or just after the Eemian Interglacial, but I doubt that temperature on tropical Java was much affected. The main effect of interglacials on Sundaland is submerging its low-lying regions to form the islands with which we’re familiar. Paleoclimatologists disagree as to the vegetation of the areas now submerged, ie whether savanna, tropical forest or a mix.

      If H. erectus did disappear before 100 Ka, then Moderns probably weren’t the cause of his demise. But lack of fossils doesn’t guarantee lack of humans to make them. For all we know, Java Man might have still existed when Moderns first entered Sundaland. The fact that so much of his range during glacial intervals is now submerged suggests that this well might be the case.

    • Noah’s Flood is a myth. But at the time it is supposed to have occurred, ours had long been the only surviving Homo species.

        • Isn’t the flood myth really the collective memory of the melting of the continental glaciation leading to a 400 foot sea level rise? While barely detectable in a human life time even at the max SLR, the oral traditions would have been alive with stories of flooded hunting grounds everywhere around the planet over longer time frames and oral communication was their only long term memory which obviously evolved as to why this happened with stories of gods and other such made up reasons they couldn’t explain. And undoubtedly major local flood events like the Black Sea and numerous flood events from events like the Scablands in Wa state and the draining of Lake Agassiz via multiple outlets at different time periods would have been witnessed locally by ancient peoples. And numerous other such events over long time scales.

          Because the flood myth is universal, it has to be a synthesis of all these stories of submerged lands due to these flood events and the global ocean rising 400 feet over 7000 years as the ice retreated. Gilgamesh was perhaps the first to write this down, and may have been more local to the Fertile Crescent, and then the Hebrews ‘borrowed’ that story and further embellished it to their narrative, but the core myth has to be based upon the rising global ocean when the Holocene started with the melting of the ice sheets.

          • It probably stems from a particularly large Tigris-Euphrates River flood.

            The Black Sea inundation would have been too far away in time and distance from Sumer, where the myth originates. Sumer was however close to the Persian Gulf, which is shallow and dry during glaciations. Although its upper reaches flooded long before Sumer, I guess it’s possible that their scribes recorded ancient memories of their ancestors’ moving away from the rising waters. However the inundation occurred before most livestock were domesticated.

          • It’s also suspected that near the start of the current inter-glacial, a large lake of ice melt covering much of Canada was contained by a massive ice dam that eventually let loose creating a massive global tidal wave. For a story to be so ubiquitous across nearly all cultures means is likely originates from an ancient oral tradition describing an unprecented and otherwise unexplainable event that occurred at least 10K years ago, which would be about the right time frame.

        • A lot of people believe it could have been the flooding of the Black Sea when the dam at the Bosporus was breached by rising seas.

      • No, it is not a myth. It is part of the story of Gilgamesh. A description of it says: there was a black cloud to the southwest, with lightning. The sea retreated seven times and covered the land six times, and the people were turned to clay. Noah lived at the city of Ur, even though the biblical story does not refer to it as that.

        If you watched the horrifying flooding going on from the start of the earthquake that hit northern Japan a few years ago, that is EXACTLY what happened. There are plenty of videos online showing the retreat of the sea from coastal fishing villages, followed by by tidal waves that seem tame at first and then prove to be so strong and dangerous that they could pick up entire buildings.

        And yes, people were found dead and covered in soil when their arms or legs were left sticking up out of the dirt that had been piled on top of them. And that was just a 9.4 quake that rattled the entire area and even some of the southern islands off the coast of Japan.

        In addition, indigenous tribes in North America have a story that says the sky turned black; there was a terrible wind; the Sun and Moon were hidden and they had to go into caves for safety. Paleontological evidence has confirmed this with the finding of mastodons killed by a fierce wind 10,000++ years ago. Their bones that show severe damage and NOT from being hunted.

        So when you dismiss something that is recorded, even if it’s a so-called mythic tale, but it turns up in two places, then it did happen and it is NOT a myth. Since there is no DATE specific for Noah’s flood or for the destruction of Ur by tidal waves, and there is archaeological evidence at Tel Qaramel in southwestern Syria of the construction 15,000 years ago of five round towers, and possible older sites in the same area, saying that a disaster recorded as a story on clay tablets or in a Biblical text is a myth is ignoring the simple fact that “myths” have a basis in something that happened before WRITING was invented.

        • See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe
          Goebekli Tepe, just south of the Black Sea dates to about 7600 BCE.
          And the Black Sea was suddenly flooded around that time (Russian deep sea research). Fishermen there today know not to go too deep – its poison, the freshwater compost from the salt water flood.
          The Neolithic starts about then. Universal means the Neolithic peoples took the epic with them wherever thy settled, and did they spread out!
          Of course they perfectly preserved pillars there have only scratches, not writing, no!

          The joke about archaeologists is they find a ceramic or stone, do isotope mass spectrometry, thermoluminescence, C14, context, and don’t read “made in Athens” on the edge.

        • Sara, right on! Why do people today think ancient people were more creative in their thinking than we are? Big things happened. They didn’t go around inventing them to support some religion or other. They did, if course, interpret real happenings in a religious frame. 10,000 years ago if a person or group of saw someone struck by lightning and burnt to a crisp, this definitely would look like an angry God had selected this person and onlookers would come up with a reason why.

          I actually think this seemingly universal religiosity had great utility in our preservation as a species and our development of thought that led to science. It probably gave us self discipline and motivation to be empathetic and cooperative leading to the benefits and relative safety of belonging to a society. We obviously were imbued with a need (instinct) to understand phenomena.

          • Humans seem to have a built in need to believe in something greater than themselves.
            For many, this is god. For others it is government.

      • Well said; fabricate a computer model (remember how sweet it is to sit in front of a computer keyboard-and-screen in air conditioned comfort instead of sweating out in the mosquitoes and hot sun), have the model then spurt out what you programmed it to spurt….and then call that ‘evidence’??

        Perversion indeed.

        I also loved the ‘Made in Athens’ missed on the edge of the artifact; reminds me of the number of times in my early field work where in northern Canada I actually thought I just had to be the first person ever to set foot in this out-of-the-way spectacular wilderness….just before I tripped over a well-rusted tin can.

        Yes, adaptability is they key to survival, as evidenced by the number of H. snowbirdis that develops in Canada upon retirement.

    • “Climate change made Homo vulnerable and hapless in the past, and this may just be happening again.”
      Clearly 2hotel9 is referring to manmade global warming, which BTW is not happening and cannot happen from our activities.

      One teeny little fact. Cool/cold kills all ages and more people than warm/heat, which is more likely to take the ill and infirm.

      After a cold snap, during which the death rate rises, the death rate goes back to normal, meaning cold killed people. During a heat wave, the death rate goes up, but after it is over, the death rate drops below normal for a time, which indicates that the heat killed people who were likely to die in the next weeks or months anyhow.

      Cold kills all ages, while heat is selective of the old, weak, and critically conditioned.

      • They kept talking about Climate Change, trying to link the extinctions to our current scenario. But the only change that killed the various homo species was cold. 1°C of warming is not what killed them.

    • “It is worrisome to discover that our ancestors, which were no less impressive in terms of mental power as compared to any other species on Earth, could not resist climate change,” he said. “And we found that just when our own species is sawing the branch we’re sitting on by causing climate change. I personally take this as a thunderous warning message. Climate change made Homo vulnerable and hapless in the past, and this may just be happening again.”

      The only one of those that had brains even half as big as Homo sapiens is neanderthalensis, and their technology stayed static for at least 6000 years. It is now thought by some that neaderthals interbred with humans at a time when their population was already in decline – see Swante Paabo on youtube about a year ago. Since most of their genes live on in sapiens, Paabo points out that they are not extinct. The parts of the genome from neaderthals that is most comprehensivley missing is that thought to be necessary for complex language.

      As for making a fuss about extinctions, there are far more extinct species in all orders than currently live.

  2. So the takeaway from all this is that homo sapiens can successfully survive climate change. Yippee! Does this mean that we can start spending all that money on something useful?

  3. Homo Erectus appeared on Earth about 1.8 Myrs BP, and probably the last subspecies got extinct about 50 kyrs BP. Would someone be so kind as to enumerate how many glacial and interglacial phases he survived?

    Any extinction whatsoever can always be correlated with SOME climatic change, as climate is constantly changing.

    • Giorgio
      You are correct to point out that H. sap and ancestors as well as cousins like Neanderthals and Denisovans experienced and coped with many very dramatic changes in climate, and the neanderthals survived until 27kya in Gibralter . H. floresiensis , descended from H erectus migrants , (some actually proposing H habilis ) not only survived for 1.8 -2My but must have crossed hills, deserts , jungles, swamps etc in passage from Africa
      On the American continent the humans who settled in Monte Verde Chile started out , many generations back in the Arctic region of the Bering St, then trekked , generation by generation down the pacific coast , crossed tropical jungle and back to relatively cold arid conditions in S America . All without the aid of Range Rovers and polar clothing and air conditioning .
      Contrary to what Raia et al say the history of human evolution indicates an ability to survive climate changes far greater than those seen in the last century and expected in the near future.
      Furthermore in the book “Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?” the author points out that it was the change in the prey they depended upon and their method of killing it that led to their demise as the last ice age gripped Europe, although they lived for many thousands of years in relative ease and comfort on the mud flats around Gibralter.

      • A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA

        Abstract
        The earliest dispersal of humans into North America is a contentious subject, and proposed early sites are required to meet the following criteria for acceptance: (1) archaeological evidence is found in a clearly defined and undisturbed geologic context; (2) age is determined by reliable radiometric dating; (3) multiple lines of evidence from interdisciplinary studies provide consistent results; and (4) unquestionable artefacts are found in primary context1,2. Here we describe the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site, an archaeological site from the early late Pleistocene epoch, where in situ hammerstones and stone anvils occur in spatio-temporal association with fragmentary remains of a single mastodon (Mammut americanum). The CM site contains spiral-fractured bone and molar fragments, indicating that breakage occured while fresh. Several of these fragments also preserve evidence of percussion. The occurrence and distribution of bone, molar and stone refits suggest that breakage occurred at the site of burial. Five large cobbles (hammerstones and anvils) in the CM bone bed display use-wear and impact marks, and are hydraulically anomalous relative to the low-energy context of the enclosing sandy silt stratum. 230Th/U radiometric analysis of multiple bone specimens using diffusion–adsorption–decay dating models indicates a burial date of 130.7 ± 9.4 thousand years ago. These findings confirm the presence of an unidentified species of Homo at the CM site during the last interglacial period (MIS 5e; early late Pleistocene), indicating that humans with manual dexterity and the experiential knowledge to use hammerstones and anvils processed mastodon limb bones for marrow extraction and/or raw material for tool production. Systematic proboscidean bone reduction, evident at the CM site, fits within a broader pattern of Palaeolithic bone percussion technology in Africa3,4,5,6, Eurasia7,8,9 and North America10,11,12. The CM site is, to our knowledge, the oldest in situ, well-documented archaeological site in North America and, as such, substantially revises the timing of arrival of Homo into the Americas.

  4. My conclusion is that humans are not causing climate change and are undoubtedly significantly able to adapt to it in any case.

    • Homo Sapiens (which is Latin for wise guys) have adapted to just about every ecosystem on Earth. It’s risible to say we can’t adapt to a couple of degrees of warming. What we might have trouble with is the next glaciation.

      • Perhaps we could convince alarmists to lay down on the ice in order to decrease the albedo.
        After all, according to them, the ice wouldn’t exist in the first place.

          • … Antifa goons in the pay of the CPC …

            This link has a bunch of videos. Find the one called Soros’ Paid Chaos. The video makes many allegations about George Soros but they should be easy to fact check.

            p.s. The Conservative Party of Canada denies all involvement with Antifa.

          • OK. CCP then. Better as reminiscent of the USSR in the Russian alphabet.

            Not just the regime of Red China funds Antifa. Sotos is in the mix, too.

            Both the CCP and Russia also arm Mexican cartels and launder their blood money from drugs, extortion and human trafficking.

  5. “We were surprised by the regularity of the effect of climate change,” ….and the cause of this climate change was the use of fossil fuels? Use of wood fires? Extreme cold? Bison farts? Exhaust from SUVs? CO2? Natural causes not attributed to any animal behavior?

    So if climate change is regular, why is this time, or rather the event coming in 2100, attributed to humans?

    • Mr. Harding: Excellent point. I find it hilarious that these bright, well-educated folks cannot see the obvious- their attempt to scare us with tales of extinction actually disproves their beloved dogma. They assume the reader will not catch that this scary climate change was not human-caused, and serves to debunk the idea that current climate change is from a known cause (never mind human).

  6. Did increasing heat drive these other variations of homo to extinction or did increasing cold?

    Perhaps this is the answer. “They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”

    Perhaps the conclusion should be, hotter is better!

  7. Unfortunately some early Homo Erectus did survive to write such nonsense.
    We, the species of humankind, are the only species ever on this planet to use fire. We are defined by fire, dated by fire, C14, and actually sought out freezing Siberian hunting grounds. Fire gives extra time at the camp to improve that throwing hunting javelin, more time for social activity such as epic stories to tell at night. In other words more freedom, more innovation.

    Now along comes some little Greta, pushed by extreme wealth, to take our fire away and telling us to vote for Biden!

    It sure seems the very earliest fire users faced immediate opposition, when an unknown kid came to mamma with fire in his hand! The chieftain immediately knew that meant the kid will be much more free! The kid’s mother probably scolded, knowing what would happen.
    Still, here we are !

      • Sure, like we do, but note the chieftain’s reaction – exactly like today’s Davos oligarchy.

        Fire brings freedom!

        No genes or adaption involved, but things like “freedom”, Innovation”, “cooked food and nourishment”, relative independence from climate vagaries, social bonding. And the opposite – tyranny, darkness, power, slavery.

        The Greek Prometheus and Plato’s cave allegory, express it precisely.

        And people ask why Fusion is delayed.

  8. “…publishing across the spectrum of environmental change and sustainability science. ” They are at least a century (ies?) behind in these long understood as axioms. Like making communication a science? Claiming something a science that isn’t should be questioned.

    • Might one use the scientific process to study communication?

      If one finds principles that are consistent across various means of communication, might it not be reasonable to call these facts of communication?

      Since they were learned and verified through the scientific method, might it be reasonable to call those principles facts or laws of the science of communication?

      Does that still not leave communication itself something separate from the science of it, perhaps somewhat like cell division is not the same thing as the scientific study of cell division?

  9. Neanderthals survived prior glacial maxima, so it wasn’t climate. They died out before the last one because of “competition” with Moderns, ie being killed, eaten and enslaved by our ancestors. For people outside Sun-Saharan Africa, Neanderthals are ancestors as well. So are Denisovans.

    There are also two unknown ancestors, one in Asia and another in Africa.

    This study ignores H. naledi and H. floresiensis.

    It also accepts H. ergaster and H. erectus as separate species, while ignoring H. antecesor. Many consider that those archaic humans were just, respectively, Asian, African and European variants of the same species.

    H. habilis went extinct by evolving into H. erectus-grade humans, which then evolved into H. heidelbergensis, which evolved into Neanderthals in western Eurasia, Denisovans in eastern Eurasia and Moderns in Africa. Climatic changes might have affected these evolutionary processes, but they required both specific mutations and subsequent gradual changes, as in brain size and structure. Chins and shrunken brow ridges are Modern traits.

    • Besides which H. habilis should probably be assigned to genus Australopithecus, or Pan (chimps), Australopithecus and other hominin species subsumed under Homo. IMO keeping Pan separate from upright walking species is justified, but it’s a close call. Linnaeus would have placed humans and chimps in the same genus, but for religious objections. Genetically, we’re more closely related than horses and donkeys, both in Equus.

      We have one less chromosome than chimps and other great apes, because two smaller standard great ape chromosomes fused to form our second-largest #2. This event is associated with upright walking.

    • There are two very large pink polka-dotted elephants in the room ignored in this comical “study”:

      1. H. habilis and H. erectus range is near the equator, far from any glaciers that developed in the northern latitudes), and the range of H. neanderthalensis was southern Europe near the Mediterranean Sea, also affected minimally, if at all, by glaciers hundred of miles further north.

      2. The authors inadvertently affirmed that cooler global temperatures and glaciation are hard on humans while warmer temperatures allow them to thrive, as they are doing now.

      • But you know where to find the Neanderthal ?
        It’s in the North West of Germany near Belgium and Netherlands not far from Düsseldorf, not that what I call Mediterranean Sea.

      • Neanderthals did live nearer the ice sheets than did H. erectus, unless you count the Tibetan ice sheet. H. erectus (Peking Man) did however live in northern China, presumably during interglacials.

        Neanderthals weren’t limited to the Med. During interglacials, they made it to Britain. They ranged into Central Asia, to include Denisova Cave, north of latitude 51 in the Altai Mountains, and higher.

  10. Reasonable assumptions but no mention that the climate change was probably glaciation.
    A reasonably good opinion until the last paragraph with the obligatory plea for funding support implied.

    • They did say “They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.” So cold was clearly worse than warm.

  11. “You have a question you want a specific answer to”?
    “Not a problem”
    “I have a computer model for that. What answer do you want?”

  12. The Neanderthals lived mostly in glacial ages and for briefer times warm climates such as we enjoy. They survived both. As for being mentally equivalent to Sapiens, that is utter bunk. The Neanderthals existed for about 200,000 years and never got past stone age technology and never developed societies beyond a couple dozen people. Or perhaps these researchers can develop an “emulator” to show us the “data” about their cities.

  13. Their base are the locations they found fossils, without knowledge where else homo x,y,z lived and why.
    To often the homo history had to been rewritten because of new findings on “unprecedented” places and older than previously thought.
    In 2017 they found out, Homo sapiens may be 150,000 years older than we thought

    Further, Fossil suggests Homo erectus is 200,000 years older than thought

    So the “study”, better the computergame is moving on more than very thin ice and can’t be seen as not more than pure speculation, they don’t know, about what they are writing.

    All these studies shake up the timetable of the Incarnation, the scientific reconstruction of our cultural maturation and diffusion. Supposedly archaic people – as contemporaries of Homo sapiens – apparently survived much longer than expected, geographical areas were developed earlier than assumed, the timetable and spread of mankind no longer seem certain. The two current studies also fit into this category.

    German source

    • The Moroccan fossil skull is transitional between H. heidelbergensis and Anatomically Modern Humans, just what you’d expect for its date. The transition was gradual. It is fairly arbitrary at what point remains are assigned to us Moderns. A chin might be the most obvious characteristic trait.

        • It’s possible however that we Moderns also wiped out Flores Man and maybe H. erectus in Asia, as we did the Neanderthals and probably Denisovans. But even in those cases, except Flores Man, genetic sequences survive from these earlier human types.

    • All that settled science is regularly shown to be a pile of hooey. Start with invalid presumptions and you are constantly surprised and need to rewrite your fiction.

  14. If H. Sapiens survived, and thrived, by exploiting resources like fossil fuels to adapt to the hostile environment, then anthropogenic climate change is evolution in action. The green new deal is the misanthropic apocolypse.

  15. “…increased vulnerability to climatic change.” As evolution increased the intellectual capacity of the Homo species there was an accompanying ability to resist/adapt to climate change. Today Homo Sapiens climbs Mt. Everest or crosses Death Valley, a certain mark of this resistive/adaptive ability. This report then is obviously a load of nonsense in search of funding. Next.

  16. I’ve just created a model, and it shows that some early humans may have been driven extinct when a space craft possibly from a star system near the horse head nebula crashed into Africa, perhaps spreading lithium and rare-earth metal deposits across that continent. This may have contributed to the extinction of other species as well.

  17. A couple of take-aways for me: 1) It was cold not heat that caused the extinction. 2) Regarding the last statement, the authors found what they were looking for which makes me question their objectivity. 3) The climate change was a natural occurrence.

  18. Why do they need climate models to figure out what past climate was? We already have a pretty good idea from from studying things like ancient spores.

    • Oh come now, Mark. That’s observational data. Very messy. Often contradicts our assumptions. Models on the other hand, never surprise us with bad data that we need to adjust away.

  19. Understandably, Nazca lines and other similar ancient civilization landing strips are evidence that aviation is to blame for that climate change…

    And a little challenge for all those passionate by climate temperature models.

    Earlier this morning my engines were both at ambient temperature. When was the last time they were used and consequently very hot ? Yesterday ? Last week ? Two weeks ago ?

    • Maybe time to turn the ‘planes into restaurants as Singapore is doing. Tickets sold out!

      Meanwhile feverish dreams of “green” hydrogen engines are in the air. Would not hold my breath though.

      • Occasionally, guys in black sweaters and grey vests with no tie will give us topics. On the necessity to smile politely and say “yes, indeed” when customers and general public address the crew with revolutionary green ideas. Then safely forget it all and concentrate on the job.

        So anything goes, be it taxes, carbon offsets, snake oil, unicorn urine, hydrogen, water, soybeans oil, sails, wind turbines, PV cells, new undiscovered yet batteries, just say “yes, indeed”. And smile.

        My guess is that the same guys are also hired to give similar topics to aircraft making companies.

        Generalized politically correct virtue signaling ensues…

        Until someone grabs an emergency flashlight or fire extinguisher to tell them what time it is.

        *palmface*

  20. I have an alternate theory which I will publish in the open access journal “Oblivious”. According to my infallible model, Homo sapiens was the only Homo species not infiltrated by a administrative subspecies of early humanoids Homo progressivis. Those Homo species which cross-bred with Homo progressivis became increasingly incapable of perceiving and reacting to real threats but highly sensitized to imaginary threats till convinced that hunting, mating and defending themselves against predators were dangerous pursuits. Shortly after executing any individual who remembered how to make fire and having abandoned all measures of self sustenance long before the “perfection” of socialist government, they rapidly died out.

  21. “We were surprised by the regularity of the effect of climate change,” Raia says. “It was crystal clear, for the extinct species and for them only, that climatic conditions were just too extreme just before extinction and only in that particular moment.”

    No. What’s crystal clear is that when you setup your climate models to create a fake world, stuff will happen in that fake world, just as it was modeled. Says zero about reality.

  22. Our ancestors hunted them and ate them, exactly as we are doing now with chimps and gorillas. We are just going down the evolutionary tree pruning the branches. They can run but they can’t hide.

    Some like to think our species is gentle. It is not. Climate change is just the latest excuse for not accepting our species responsibility.

  23. “The findings may serve as a kind of warning to humans today as we face unprecedented changes in the climate, Raia says.”

    Disingenuous beyond any definition of scientific fraud. They let the cat out of the bag by mentioning the search for a warmer place but refused to say the obvious which has nothing to do with the type of “climate change” they think is going to happen in coming decades. These critters died because of extreme cold for goodness sake and you Climate Wroughters know this.

    There is absolutely nothing intrinsic about “Climate Change” undefined that is hazardous . It’s not like drowning or getting shot which do not need a modifier to make clear what happened. If we could stop the obsessive-compulsive blaming of humans (and humanoids!) for everything bad, we might also muster the logical thought that the bitter cold had something to do with the extinction of the animals they depended on for food, too. After all, following on the ‘researchers’ reasoning, the hogs, aurochs, mammoths… did not invent fire to keep warm, or even think there was a warmer place to go to. They were much more at risk than their clever antagonists. Most likely the hominids did finish off the last of dwindling prey.

    • This is one of the primary reasons why Global Warming became Climate Change. This way you can conflate every bad thing that ever happens/happened with climate change.

      You can establish from all these bad things caused by climate change, that climate change is inherently dangerous. Now the climate is changing therefore we’re in grave danger. And 997% of climate scientist agree that CO2 is the culprit. Thus CO2 is a dangerous existential threat. It’s unprecedented.
      QED

  24. More mathematical onanism from the the academic fools. This “study” possesses just as much reality as one achieved by ingesting enormous quantities of THC and hallucinating the past. At least the latter method is in color.

  25. Well, obviously, these people never heard of archaeological evidence. Heidelbergensis died out around 125,000 years ago, most likely from breeding with H. Sapiens and H. Neandertalis. We all have about 2% H. Heidelbergensis in our DNA. You can get that tested, and also you can get a test for Neandertal genes.
    Climate had nothing to do with it.

    Heidelberg man was a robust hominid that could take down large game animals like horses and elk and European bison, but the poor fellow simply could not compete with H. Sapiens who was probably more attractive to Heidelberg WOMEN than was Heidelberg man. And you guys all know how fickle we girls can be. Seriously, who do you think we’re gonna take a walk with? The big hairy football tackle guy, or the less hairy but equally muscled quarterback????

    Competition for females and hunting territory is more accurate. It is part of Hooman nature to engage in reproduction and turf for hunting. If these so-called researchers are so desperate for cash that they think this theory is even vaguely valid, they are greedier and dumber than I had realized.

    Considering that Heidelberg man started up around 800,000 years ago, and finally lost turf to the more gracile H. Sapiens – yeah, you mopes, we’re still here – these people make it clear that not only are they money-grubbing idjits, they also know less about species stability than the soles of my shoes. H. Sapiens beat out the other guys for everything, because for some odd reason, we followed the herds instead of waiting for them to come to us.

    Think I”m kidding? Then go get your DNA tested for Neandertal and Heidelberg DNA. Up to 8% DNA comes from Neandertals, maybe more, and 1.5% to 2% comes from Heidelberg man.

    • Yes there is neanderthal DNA in all non-African humans, and another sister species, Denisovans left DNA in East Asia and the Pacific, but the limitation in getting Heidelberg DNA is that he went extinct more than 300,000 years ago and DNA retrieval stops at present at about 40,000. Whether the latter was an ancestor or another branch of the tree is not clear.

    • Fran, yes, this is why the estimate of the demise of Heidelberg is 125,000 years ago, or thereabouts. But that’s based on various samplings, including the finds at a campsite at Schoningen in Germany and more finds in a cave in Spain. All we really get is scattered pieces here and there, but somewhere in there, the more gracile H. Neandertal and H. Sapiens moved on when robust Heidelberg man could not.

      That makes me wonder if every species has a genetic end date of some kind. I should ask my sister; genetics is one thing she teaches. She might have some good feedback on it of some suggestions on material to read.

    • Sara and Fran
      Thanks for the insight.
      It is my understanding that the ability to obtain DNA samples is massively reduced in the tropics as opposed to the colder places.
      The lack of DNA samples in the tropics limits our knowledge of where early human species lived and traveled.

  26. “They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”

    As ridiculous as that paper is, at least they acknowledge that, contrary’s to Greta’s and Mann’s retarded ramblings and as far as SURVIVAL is concerned, no one runs toward “colder” places.

  27. The kind of climate change that would have wiped out species of early man was global cooling, not global warming. Ice ages are hard to survive. Even a single cold winter is enough to stress a population that doesn’t have the ability to store enough food until it warms up again. For a species that originated on the plains of Africa, warmth is the preferred environment, so it’s unlikely that it was the warming coming out of an ice age that wiped them out.

    • Okay, Lee, then can you please explain why the Inuit and Aleut way up north toward the Arctic Circle where it gets cold are so well adapted to living in an extreme environment and have done so since their distant ancestors crossed that land bridge way back when?

      And also, can you please explain why people in Siberia and Mongolia who have, for millenia, been following their herds and have managed to survive and thrive, without the use of modern conveniences, in extremely cold climates, and have done so for centuries?

      Siberia is one of those no-holds-barred environments: you either live with it or you don’t. Ditto Mongolia. And how come all those people living high in the uplands of Tibet, where it’s desperately cold
      and dry most of the year, seem to just thrive???

      • Siberia, Alaska, and Northern Canada are all like Malibu Beach compared to the ice age climate. Mankind will spread to the whole planet, but you can tell by the population densities where they prefer to live.

        Anyways the study “proved” in an alarmist-approved, safe-place kind-of-way, that colder climate is bad and a warming climate is good.

        • Sorry to disagree, but they tried to conflate the impact of our mild warming with the assumed but dubious impact on ancient nomadic populations when the climate got much colder. They directly invite us to imagine that it is the delta rather than the sign that is dangerous. As if it would be the identical stress to migrate from Montreal to Miami in summer as the opposite direction in winter.

          In the first place, I don’t buy the premise that any kind of climate change caused hominid extinctions. I’m not sure that cold is much of a problem for small groups of big game hunters who know how to use fire. It’s the farmers who depend on crops to feed a large population who are most impacted by cold-induced and/or drought-induced crop failures. But as far as I’m aware, only H. sapiens ever became farmers.

          Drought impacts the hunter/gatherer, too, but they tend to be nomads who move to the places “flowing with milk and honey”.

          I suspect that those H. sub-species that died out, more likely succumbed to disease and competition/warfare with our ancestors than with any form of climate change. Of course cold and drought lead to famine and death for millions, and make populations more susceptible to disease, but I’m just saying that it would take more than climate change to result in extinction.

          Our potential extinction probably would hinge on the same factors.

        • Both of you are right. Lack of food animals to hunt (provides protein and necessary fats for survival in the cold) will send nomadic groups from one spot to another, looking for game. They will follow the herds and note where ducks, geese and other gamebirds go so that they can hunt and take the prey.

          Temperatures during the Wisconsin ice-up are guesswork, but if it’s cold enough to snow and not melt the snow, then you have to have enough humidity in the air to produce snow. Meltback doesn’t really figure into it all that much. Since my own observations of migrating geese show that they’ll snow up in February, even if the rivers and ponds are iced up and it’s cold, and they’ll wait until December to leave if there is enough open water and food (and I have photos with dated files to back up all of this), then those alarmist viewpoint is incorrect, as it has no reference to the real world of critters and hunters.

          Seriously, if they can’t even acknowledge that people go ice fishing (and you should see some of those shacks!) because it’s as primal as you can get, it means they are too embedded in their “belief system” (don’t know what else to call it) to acknowledge anything in the real world.

          Basically, what they’ve said is baloney. And we know it.

      • Homo Sapiens may be better adapted to deal with cold than other human species were. They died out and we didn’t. And I wouldn’t necessarily describe those living in Mongolia, Siberia, or north of the Arctic Circle as ‘thriving’. That is a tough existence, and ‘surviving’ is probably a better word. Evolution has provided a measure of adaptation to cold to the Aleuts and Inuits, and maybe those other human species simply didn’t share those traits.

  28. Gee Javier, we get enough of this kind of stuff from our тотaliтarуаи eco loons. If anything is a surprise at all, in addition to fire we introduced conservation and caring about other creatures. We saved the Nile crocodile! We rescue beached whales, Gulf of Mexico hypothermic turtles, build highway overpasses for frogs, agonize over the plight of the Edith Spot butterfly, hug bugs and slugs, build ladders fo fish…

  29. “They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”

    So….Global Warming could have saved our extinct genetic cousins…..but Global Cooling was deadly. Just like today, when more Homo Sapiens die each year due to cold weather than due to warm weather. Makes me wonder what kind of misanthropic monsters are against Global Warming.

  30. The Cambridge, UK. university anthropology concoction of “multiple human species” is used as the scientific basis for racism, the result one sees today in the BLM color revolution in full swing.

    This kind or racism, as Cecil Rhodes of the Round Table expressed it :
    “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings; what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars; at this moment had we not lost America I believe we could have stopped the Russian-Turkish war by merely refusing money and supplies. Having these ideas what scheme could we think of to forward this object?

    “Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?

    “Africa is still lying ready for us, it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes: that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human, most honourable race the world possesses”

    Or in the well known movie Executive Action (1973) :
    Farrington is told by Foster:

    “The real problem is this James. In two decades there will be seven billion human beings on this planet. Most of them brown, yellow or black. All of them hungry. All of them determined to love. They’ll swarm out of their breeding grounds into Europe and North America… Hence, Vietnam. An all-out effort there will give us control of south Asia for decades to come. And with proper planning, we can reduce the population to 550 million by the end of the century. I know… I’ve seen the data.”

    James: “We sound rather like Gods reading the Doomsday book don’t we?”

    Foster: “Well, someone has to do it. Not only will the nations affected be better off. But the techniques developed there can be used to reduce our own excess population: blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, poverty prone whites, and so forth”.

    That is why they assassinated JFK.
    More at
    https://canadianpatriot.org/2020/02/09/leftist-neo-mccarthyite-witchhunters-hypocritically-mourn-the-death-of-kirk-douglas/

  31. They were on foot without satellite images of the ground to guide their travels. What pray tell do we have to fear when we have the level of technology we have. If people can live at the equator today, there is no temperature increase in our future that will cause an extinction, because the equator is pretty much temperature limited already with automatic thermostats in the water cycle.

  32. “Climate change likely drove early human species to extinction, modeling study suggests”
    Wrong, and they know it. Deep cooling certainly could be responsible, but not “climate change”. Climate Liars like to put the emphasis on “change” itself as the culprit. It fits with the Climate Ideology.

  33. Little know fact, early man commited mass sucide because of climate change induced mass proliferation of Greta Thunberg precursors.

  34. The early human species that may or may not have existed. Nay, the early human species with civilizations that reached to the clouds and beyond, powered by clean, green, renewable nuclear fusion. The patterns are there. The rest is inferred. It’s plausible. Eureka! I believe.

  35. All you need to know about this article and the journal One Earth is right here.

    Lewis Collins – Editor-in-Chief
    While undergraduate and master’s degrees in Earth science (Cardiff University), and Climate Change (University of East Anglia) nurtured this interest, it was doctoral (British Antarctic Survey) and post-doctoral (Université Pierre et Marie Curie) research on Antarctica that centered his focus on environmental change.

    Humm, where have I heard about the University of East Anglia before?

  36. From the above article: “The goal was to understand the climate preferences of those early humans and how they reacted to changes in climate.”

    OK, I’ll grab the bull (double entendre) by the horns and give some basic understanding to Pasquale Raia and the other authors of the the above One Earth article vis-a-via this specific goal.

    Early humans undoubtedly preferred a climate that:
    — provided minimal need for shelter and clothing, being comfortably warm at night and comfortably cool during the day, both independent of the seasons during the year
    — provided sufficient rainfall for convenient, nearby sources of water and for growing both plant and animal food sources without also causing flooding
    — was reasonable stable over several generations (say, 100 years).

    And early humans undoubtedly reacted to changes in climate by:
    — changing their clothing and shelter, and/or
    — expanding or contracting the selection of food types, and/or
    — digging deeper wells (in the case of drought),
    — increasing their use of fire (in the case of increased cold), or
    — simply migrating from a less-hospitable climate to a more-hospitable climate.

    No charge, Mr. Raia, if you want to add these points in an erratum/revision to the above One Earth report to show that you indeed met your identified goal.

  37. “they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”

    So it was the COLD that got them…..

    Thank goodness the planet decided to warm up a little bit since the LIA, rather than going the other way.

  38. Humans are still evolving. I read a story where it was said that young humans have an arterry in the arm that is replaced by two other arteries as a person grows, and it said that something like 30 years ago, about 18 percent of humans would retain the original artery, instead of it disappering, and today they estimate that about 30 percent of humans are retaining this artery.

    I thought that was pretty interesting.

    I wonder how humans will evolve when they leave the Earth enviroment and move into the solar system.

    I think the climate change we need to worry about here on Earth is a change to a colder world. Warmer, we can handle.

    • Instead of 30 years ago, that should read 230 years ago. So the claim is the extra artery was in 18 percent of people 230 years ago and is in 30 percent of people today.

    • Jean,

      In reality, the User’s Manual for that climate emulator states the following on Page 1:

      ************** WARNING ****************
      Do NOT attempt to run your MCTIC/CNPq/FAPEG Climate Emulator™ in “forward mode”. It has not been multi-parameter curve-fit to the future because future climate data is not yet available. It will yield erroneous and irrelevant results in the “forward mode”, and your warranty will be voided by doing such.

      Please restrict all use of the Climate Emulator™ to “backward mode” (also know as “hindcasting”) since the developers at MCTIC/CNPq/FAPEG, Inc. invested considerable effort to obtain an optimum multi-parameter curve-for to all available paleoclimatology that we judged suitable for our purpose.
      ***************************************

  39. I’m wondering how you validate the accuracy of a model forecast over 5 million years into the past.

    I lament the ongoing dumbness of academia. All I can conclude is that we let too many people become academics, who then need to publish on increasingly stupid topics.

    • “I’m wondering how you validate the accuracy of a model forecast over 5 million years into the past.”

      It’s actually very simple: you create and use another model to do so.

      This technique has prove to be very beneficial in “climate science” over the last 20 or so years.

  40. “early human species to extinction” I wonder if inter breeding had anything to do with their extinctions.

  41. Para 2, it was the cold that wiped out the other homo species, NOT WARMING BUT FREEZING KILLED THEM. Cold kills far more people than any warming even today.

  42. Oh dear, did they have gas guzzling SUVs and coal fired power plants? did they not put in enough sola panels? we need to know.

  43. what happened when the homo sapien met the homo neanderthalis? Some say the killed them. Some say the f***ed them. Knowing humans, I think they did both. However, the fact that we all have the adam which can only be passed from father to child suggest that they only bred with the females and probably killed the males which is what you would expect from both savage and modern man.

  44. Wow, researchers looking for a climate change nexus, found a climate change nexus. And they did it using a model. What a surprise.

  45. We should learn from our past, driving those high emitting CO2 Flintstone cars caused the demise of mankind. Here we go again!, driving cars using fossil fuels and releasing all that co2 that has been sequestered since last ice age. Eventually if we keep this up the atmosphere may return to its’ former co2 levels. Gnashing of teeth and handwringing!

  46. The weasel-wording of the release leads me to doubt that any hominid species in the model became extinct from warming.
    Can anyone interpret the model to explain which species in what location were harmed by what geologists call ‘global climactic optimums’?
    And if there are any such cases, is it in any way an analogy to the circumstances of an agricultural, global, technological species?

  47. These hominids managed to survive several glacial/interglacial cycles, but then climate killed them all off about 40-50 thousand years ago. That this was just when Homo sapiens showed up in their respective habitat was of course purely accidental.

  48. “even worse” “hold true under all assumptions.” “unprecedented ”

    These three phrases signify there are problems, not with the subject, but with the research. The other clue is to find the statement “It was worse than we thought.”

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