INSTITUTE FOR BASIC SCIENCE
A study published in Nature by an international team of scientists provides clear evidence for a link between astronomically-driven climate change and human evolution.
By combining the most extensive database of well-dated fossil remains and archeological artefacts with an unprecedented new supercomputer model simulating earth’s climate history of the past 2 million years, the team of experts in climate modeling, anthropology and ecology was able to determine under which environmental conditions archaic humans likely lived (Fig. 1).
The impact of climate change on human evolution has long been suspected, but has been difficult to demonstrate due to the paucity of climate records near human fossil-bearing sites. To bypass this problem, the team instead investigated what the climate in their computer simulation was like at the times and places humans lived, according to the archeological record. This revealed the preferred environmental conditions of different groups of hominins. From there, the team looked for all the places and times those conditions occurred in the model, creating time-evolving maps of potential hominin habitats.
“Even though different groups of archaic humans preferred different climatic environments, their habitats all responded to climate shifts caused by astronomical changes in earth’s axis wobble, tilt, and orbital eccentricity with timescales ranging from 21 to 400 thousand years,” said Axel Timmermann, lead author of the study and Director of the IBS Center for Climate Physics (ICCP) at Pusan National University in South Korea.
To test the robustness of the link between climate and human habitats, the scientists repeated their analysis, but with ages of the fossils shuffled like a deck of cards. If the past evolution of climatic variables did not impact where and when humans lived, then both methods would result in the same habitats. However, the researchers found significant differences in the habitat patterns for the three most recent hominin groups (Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo heidelbergensis) when using the shuffled and the realistic fossil ages. “This result implies that at least during the past 500 thousand years the real sequence of past climate change, including glacial cycles, played a central role in determining where different hominin groups lived and where their remains have been found”, said Prof. Timmermann.
“The next question we set out to address was whether the habitats of the different human species overlapped in space and time. Past contact zones provide crucial information on potential species successions and admixture,” said Prof. Pasquale Raia from the Università di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy, who together with his research team compiled the dataset of human fossils and archeological artefacts used in this study. From the contact zone analysis, the researchers then derived a hominin family tree, according to which Neanderthals and likely Denisovans derived from the Eurasian clade of Homo heidelbergensis around 500-400 thousand years ago, whereas Homo sapiens’ roots can be traced back to Southern African populations of late Homo heidelbergensis around 300 thousand years ago.
“Our climate-based reconstruction of hominin lineages is quite similar to recent estimates obtained from either genetic data or the analysis of morphological differences in human fossils, which increases our confidence in the results,” remarks Dr. Jiaoyang Ruan, co-author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow at the IBS Center for Climate Physics.
The new study was made possible by using one of South Korea’s fastest supercomputers named Aleph. Located at the headquarters of the Institute for Basic Science in Daejeon, Aleph ran non-stop for over 6 months to complete the longest comprehensive climate model simulation to date. “The model generated 500 Terabytes of data, enough to fill up several hundred hard disks,” said Dr. Kyung-Sook Yun, a researcher at the IBS Center for Climate Physics who conducted the experiments. “It is the first continuous simulation with a state-of-the-art climate model that covers earth’s environmental history of the last 2 million years, representing climate responses to the waxing and waning of ice-sheets, changes in past greenhouse gas concentrations, as well as the marked transition in the frequency of glacial cycles around 1 million years ago,” adds Dr. Yun.
“So far, the paleoanthropological community has not utilized the full potential of such continuous paleoclimate model simulations. Our study clearly illustrates the value of well-validated climate models to address fundamental questions on our human origins,” says Prof. Christoph Zollikofer from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and co-author of the study.
Going beyond the question of early human habitats, and times and places of human species’ origins, the research team further addressed how humans may have adapted to varying food resources over the past 2 million years. “When we looked at the data for the five major hominin groups, we discovered an interesting pattern. Early African hominins around 2-1 million years ago preferred stable climatic conditions. This constrained them to relatively narrow habitable corridors. Following a major climatic transition about 800 thousand year ago, a group known under the umbrella term Homo heidelbergensis adapted to a much wider range of available food resources, which enabled them to become global wanderers, reaching remote regions in Europe and eastern Asia,” said Elke Zeller, PhD student at Pusan National University and co-author of the study.
“Our study documents that climate played a fundamental role in the evolution of our genus Homo. We are who we are because we have managed to adapt over millennia to slow shifts in the past climate,” says Prof. Axel Timmermann.
This study considers the following hominin species: Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo heidelbergensis (including African and Eurasian populations), Homo erectus and early African Homo (including Homo ergaster and Homo habilis).
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/MNJ-RnhBVkU
METHOD OF RESEARCH
SUBJECT OF RESEARCH
Climate effects on archaic human habitats and species successions
ARTICLE PUBLICATION DATE
“This result implies that at least during the past 500 thousand years the real sequence of past climate change, including glacial cycles, played a central role in determining where different hominin groups lived and where their remains have been found”
Really?! Who would have thunk it? Maybe they were smarter than some now.
But they lacked media outlets, publication mills with promotions and benefits, and international confabs.
They also lacked fact checkers
How did we ever get where we are today without fact checkers?
Come to think of it, things were going along quite nicely until we started getting fact checkers. Now look at the mess the World is in.
I blame fact checkers.
“I blame fact checkers.”
Has anyone done a study to chart the rise of fact checkers against the rise of CO2? I know there’s certainly been a rise in hot air since they came around.
I think that rise in hot air you speak of is mostly methane. 😁
Much too hard to use actual data as little exists so to bypass an actual analysis:
“To bypass this problem, the team instead investigated what the climate in their computer simulation was like at the times and places humans lived”
No data, no problem… but then it’s not science is it?
Computer simulations have climate? Is this a Matrix thing or what?
A computer model? Maybe evolution of H heidelbergensis, and subsequent divergence had something to do with it independent of climate?
I stopped at “combined with an unprecedented new supercomputer model of the last 2 million years”. What is unprecedented is that supercomputer climate models cannot even get the past 30 years right without tuning, and even then they do not agree amongst themselves except by using the anomaly trick to hide a 3C range of disagreement about past actual temperatures in CMIP3 and 5.
Past 2 million years, fuggedaboutit.
I wonder if they incorporated plate tectonics in the model ..
They’re only looking back 2 million years. On the other hand, the closing of the Isthmus of Panama, caused by tectonics, didn’t happen that much earlier, and it had a big effect on the climate. link
Yup.Geology Prof Deffeyes of Princeton wrote about this hypothesis two decades ago.
What’s sad about this, Rud, 20 years ago I would have read this and thought: “Wow, really interesting!” After a couple of decades of CliSciFi antics and failed climate models, all I can think is: “What a waste of time and money!”
My own awakening was by chance in 2011. Until then, just trusted and was focussed on other things. What a shock!
I am an analog electrical engineer and live by “all models are wrong but some are useful”, Knowing that modeling analog circuits where we control most of the variables and have access to the things we are modeling to “verify” our models assures me that trying to model climate is an interesting exercise but I would never make any significant decisions based on it’s outcome. The key to being a good engineer is not trusting the models and knowing when the computer output is most likely BS.
Is this where the term GIGO came from?
Ditto for me.
It is possible to build a climate model based on data about how climate changed over the past, having nothing to do with today’s widely preached climate theory. While the data is no doubt spotty, it is not the same as making future climate forecasts.
This is my question too. By “with an unprecedented new supercomputer model simulating earth’s climate history of the past 2 million years”, do they mean one of the awful bog-standard IPPC models which can’t predict the last 30 years, or do they mean they used historical proxy data to model the actual recorded historic climate? If that latter, it could be useful. I don’t intend to read the full paper to find out.
I’m wondering why they didn’t build multiple unprecedented supercomputers, program them all with well documented fossil remains and archeological artifacts, run them all simultaneously and then average the output.
That’s how science is done today, isn’t it?
“The new study was made possible by using one of South Korea’s fastest supercomputers named Aleph. Located at the headquarters of the Institute for Basic Science in Daejeon, Aleph ran non-stop for over 6 months to complete the longest comprehensive climate model simulation to date.”
Then it simply must be correct 🙂
And it generated so much data to keep an army of climate scientists busy for millenia ..
That reminds me of:
The amount of fossil fuel to generate the electricity for these supercomputers needs to be investigated!!!!!
IMHO, these 6 months make this “research” eligible for defunding…
Climate Chifts? I think you mean Climate Shifts!!!
And here I was thinking it should be Climate Grifts!
Was there an alternative hypothesis?
Perhaps something to do with whatever a “Chift” is?
A software (e.g. model) developer’s dream: Lots of funding, no testable deliverables.
One alternative hypothesis is that hominids slowly learned how to adapt to living in different climates, other than the tropical one where we originated. Some of the discoveries passed along were: the control and use of fire, hot meals, sharpened rocks, rocks tied to sticks, shoes, hats, other clothing, caves, cordage, toothpicks, etc.
It took awhile, but our ancestors finally figured out how to live in some of the most miserable places on Earth. The truth is subconsciously and in our bones we all still yearn for that tropical beach of hoary yore.
That’s right Mike D. – Darwinian evolution, adaptation to conditions. This is excactly what the authors claimed for the project, not an alternative theory. They supposed that changing conditions were all based on climate change, so the evidence that they created with their model was the same evidence for the scenario you cited, that of evolution.
This modeling study was an exercise in semantic revisionism, not science. IOW propaganda.
I wonder if they noticed that their idea is unbounded — in that there is no turning point inherent in their theory, where humans became evil and began changing the climate rather than the other way around. “Climate change” is meaningless, and this is just a rather silly cult with theocratic ambitions.
Rather than hot meals, some have hypothesized that it was techniques of preserving food (first with fire then with salt) that enabled the H. Sapiens groups (such as H.S. Heidelbergensis or H.S. Neanderthalensis) to expand beyond the fairly narrow range in Africa.
Off the top of my head I can name two places where people can no longer live, and the time scale involved was way less than 10 thousand years.
There used to be about a mile of ice piled up on where I live, in northeastern North America. When the glaciers melted at the beginning of the Holocene, the sea level rose about 400 feet and Doggerland and Beringia were flooded along with numerous other areas of human habitation. On the other hand, the area where I live went from uninhabitable to very habitable.
What’s the point? Natural climate change can act relatively quickly to render an area uninhabitable or vice versa. We didn’t even need a computer model to know that. 🙂
p.s. Another example would be the Sahara which used to be lush green earlier in the Holocene. Same effect different causality.
This has a long list of underwater archeological sites, including some that
predate Sumerians & Egyptians:
” We are who we are because we have managed to adapt over millennia to slow shifts in the past climate, “
Humans even managed fast shifts, and now ??
While skeptal of moddling, I found it of interest.
Analysis of the DNA of the different branches of the Homo family tree, show that time, lots of it, causes change.
At least the model appeared to show
that change was normal , things just happened.
So before us naughty humans came along, the World would have gone through lots of changes, all “Natural””.
No such climate model exists. Climate models do not even get close to the present climate.
WHAT “fundamental questions on our human origins“?
Are you implying that computer models can replace, and be more accurate, than gelogical research? I mean, models being more accurate in describing environment evolution than the observation of the places with the long perfectioned geological methods???
I disbelieve any science that tries to reduce the paleontological lived experience down to a single statistical variance. I have no doubt early man responded to climate and was affected by the changing climate. However, I expect short term early man was far more motivated to follow the game and the growing seasons as then known ‘traditional’ memory.
The good years would take care of themselves, but any abrupt changes in climate like prolonged winters or droughts would be devastating to the small tribes that existed as hunter gatherers of homo whatever’s. They would remember most, as we do today, what cost them most in familiar/tribal capital. Bad weather, like in our own epics, would be fireside lived history and tales of great courage. Something I find lacking in the modelers of climate crisis science today.
Agreed. What a ridiculous paper.
They used a supercomputer to determine that, “Early African hominins around 2-1 million years ago preferred stable climatic conditions.”
I am also positive they preferred stable WEATHER conditions! A single year of drought with the subsequent loss of available foodstuffs would easily be capable of killing several children, or an entire family unit, or an entire tribe depending upon severity.
I don’t think these people had the civilization necessary to identify climate changes over hundreds, or even thousands of years. My “common sense” model says that they literally walked around looking for whichever micro-climate niche was flourishing during the extant longer-term climatic conditions that were superimposed on their range.
I’m sure you’re right. I think it’s most probable that they had stories of terrible struggles past down as tribal history, generation through generation, that included fierce storms, periods of drought, and man-killing beasts beyond the tribes’ sheltered walls. Teaching narratives the likes of St. George and the Dragon and Moby Dick.
I’m equally certain that none blamed their hunting and gathering on the creation of these climate conditions. That is strictly a 21st century, first world, myth creation in pursuit of long-term government funding. The number of supercomputers used not withstanding. 😁
That’s a proper and probable characterization: climate shift. The climate has always changed, in phases.
“unprecedented new supercomputer model simulating earth’s climate history of the past 2 million years”
I.e. they played a video game all night.
There’s a lesson to be learned here that our alarmista haven’t figured out yet, you can’t manage the weather, you must adapt to it. Pity these “scientists” needed a “supercomputer” to figure that out whilst the rest of us already knew that.
Well, they likely haven’t been outside in weather for a LOOONG time. 😀
Don’t the climate scientists say they can’t adequately forecast regional climate? That they can only do “global” estimates. How then did they do regional forecasts so far back in the past? Sounds to me like they programmed in the climates they *assumed* existed at the time.
Studies like this *have* to be holistic in nature or they fail. Population moves involve far more pressures than just climate. For instance, the Sioux Native Americans at one time were a woodland tribe. They were pushed west onto the Great Plains by pressure from the Iroquois Nation.
Population pressures, both internal and external, are at least as big of a factor as climate.
So were the Navajo and they got pushed even further – there was quite a domino effect going on with some of the Athabascan people.
Probably most of the evidence is now under the ocean, as commieBob says above, as sea levels were up to 400 feet lower than today. Including their migratory routes that had a lot of ground above lower sea levels the majority of the time the last few hundred thousand years while humans evolved. And also the fact that ocean front probably had the most food resources, along with ease of travel in crude wooden/leather boats along the coasts or edges of floating ice sheets.
Long term climate swings within an ice age the last 2.8 million years probably had a lot to do with the evolution and movements of various hominids and humans. Probably mostly long term as climates shifted globally and massively, but also maybe regionally when catastrophic change happened like a big volcano, or when the Black Sea flooded with the Great Flood. Seems every human culture has a flood myth, which is the latest big melt of much of the ice sheets over several thousand years all over the good Earth leading us into the Holocene when agriculture got going. All that got passed down orally until we invented writing and wrote it down.
Climate change is the rule, not the exception, so not surprising that early humans were linked to climate shifts over long time periods.
My casual reading (such as here) found claims that there were from 20 to 25 glacial cycles (different authors, different numbers) during the past 2.6 million years. Most likely that means the same number of large swings in sea level. Many areas have been repeatedly flooded so, I would guess, little physical evidence is likely to remain.
You’re probably right, given that humans had only really moved out of Africa during the last glacial advance, perhaps 75K-85K years ago and all that is still debated and how many times.
So that would be a one off ice cycle event having just recently flooded. There is under water evidence apparently of those recent human migrations apparently from 14,000 years ago along the California coast, although some of the examples looks legit and others seems to be very weak evidence.
But then there might be the Neanderthals or Denisovans, both of which existed before humans arrived on the scene in Europe or Eastern Asia as be the case. Yes, unlikely to find any evidence of anything under the sea now from that long ago. Hard enough to find ample evidence on ground that has been ice free and dry that long.
It would be fascinating in future years to find some type of evidence that ancient Neanderthals or Denisovans had crossed over to North America through Beringia, just as humans did about 15,000 years ago. Not under water, but in some cave 1000 feet above sea level.
First you would have to find the evidence that they made it even as far as the European side of Beringia, which has never been found. All evidence points towards them moving into Europe from Africa but not much further. You’d have more luck with Denisovans and a sea route, I should imagine – if they could make it to Australia, then there’s a chance they might have got to America.
Beringia is/was found in East Asia, between Siberia and Alaska. At certain times in prehistory (ice advances) it formed a land bridge that was up to 600 miles wide at its greatest extent and covered an area of 620,000 square miles, all under water now but connected East Asia to North America.
To date, the only fossil specimens come from Denisova Cave, a remote site in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, Russia, and the Karst Cave on the Tibetan Plateau in China. However, genetic studies indicate the Denisovans homeland once stretched from the Altai into Eastern Asia.
Genetic evidence now shows that a Philippine Negrito ethic group has inherited the most Denisovan ancestry of all present day humans, at up to 5% of of their DNA. Chinese as well, but to a lesser extant.
Neanderthals also inhabited both Europe and Asia, including the Denisova Cave at approximately the same time period. Could any of those thousands of generations have ever made it to North America? Probably not, as their populations weren’t huge and food and game were plentiful were they were. But yet, they made it from Africa some tens to hundreds of thousands of years earlier to remote Siberia, so another few thousand miles wouldn’t be out of the question.
So looks what they are saying is computer models are really just time machines. Hop in your slightly modified DeLorean and enter a date. Sure as Marty McFly is your uncle, the sea level will rise 1463.0096mm on August 3, 2044.
. . and the Cubs will win the World series in 2045 . . . ! 🙂
With SCUBA gear?
. . not in Chicago . . ! 🙂
Irrespective of whether or not this paper is scientifically valid, it asks a good question: Do humans change in order to adapt to changes in climate? Only those that answer “no” to this question have anything to fear from “climate change.”
What about those who have extensive baseball card collections? Large climate shifts could make it difficult to preserve their treasures, no matter what they believe about past changes.
Black skin versus White skin is an adaptation to changing climate, even if it was because of a walk to the north from the equator. Viatmin D lack versus UV-cancers will do it.
Did the unprecedented new supercomputer model account for animal domestication?
Perfectly vacuous nonsense – what is propelling these people?
Guilt and Denial
They know in their heart of hearts, just like the Aborigine and their ‘enigmatic’ nature, that humans changed the climate.
The Aborigine destroyed a continent sized rainforest and they are feeling as guilty as hell – hence the ‘deep respect’ they now hold the landscape in. They are trying to say ‘sorry’
Humans change climate, not vice versa
And they/we did by chopping and burning forest – thereby destroying the water-holding capacity and thus thermal inertia of wherever the trees originally stood.
Water controls climate. period.
It is exactly that same guilt & denial that drives the present hysteria – just like small child might deny to to the point of sobbing crying breakdown, that it’s not been in the cookie jar while its face is plastered with chocolate.
We instinctively know what’s going on but like the cookie jar kid, are gonna deny deny deny and protest our innocence until our dying day while passing the buck onto anything and anybody we can think of.
And using every tool in the ever growing arsenal we have at our disposal to do so…
In fact everybody and everything apart from our sweet little butter wouldn’t melt sad guilt-ridden mendacious greedy buck-passing hypocritical selves that we each and all see in the mirror
And that stops us from doing anything to stop the slide, because it requires an admission that ‘Sorry, we were wrong‘
and the main wrong in this present charade is that CO2 is The Cause, when in fact it is The Symptom
All very boring so far, The Fun really starts when China runs out of coal – sometime inside 40 years from now
We have been in the cookie jar and CO2 is the ‘chocolate’
“well-dated fossil remains” – Oh really? Strange because I thought they’ve been having a few issues with that, given the whole Out-of-Africa ‘model’ is having more than a few problems.
“model simulating earth’s climate” – Oh dear, given they can’t tell us how much warmer the MWP was (or Roman or Minoan) because their ‘models’ like to remove them as ‘inconvenient truths’ are we really going to bother listening to their latest pet conjectures?
“the team of experts” – and we all know the definition of an x-spurt… right?
Then we get to the whole, apparently novel, idea that somehow, climate may have influenced early humans – from the camp of the bleeding obvious.
From where and how you sleep at night, to what predators want to make you a tasty snack, to whether or not you can stop in a plce or have to move with the food, climate has ALWAYS been a factor of life.
And for those who bother to look at history, Grand Solar Maximums are periods of expansion and good life while Grand Solar Minimums are times of trouble, starvation and disease.
One doesn’t need a Uni degree or a title of Expert to know that.
The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Center studies climate now?
And now we are having a (very) rapid shift?
A return to normal Griff. We were in a Little Age until 1850 for 500 years, and we are returning to approximately the warmth of Medieval Warm Period when it was warmer than now. We have a little more to go to get 1.5 degrees, which will take another 60-70 years even according to you. And we don’t even understand natural variation. Maybe we have added a smidgeon of warmth that will see us through a grand solar minimum without catastrophic cold decimating our crops.
There has always been weather Griff, and very serious storms, even more so when it is colder. There is no climate emergency. CO2 is not causation to runaway warming…it is a trace atmospheric gas, and doubling it, is like doubling next to nothing. We’ve added 1 part in 10,000 CO2 to the atmosphere, much to the advantage of greening the good Earth. Celebrate the warmth and sunlight Griff, for it and CO2 + water = LIFE
I can answer that – no.
“We are who we are because we have managed to adapt over millennia to slow shifts in the past climate.”
Do they mean WE slowed shifts in past climate ? How ?
Why did we failed during the Younger Dryas period, the successive inter climate optima periods, the Little ice age ?
That’s not even Scifi.
Lots of circular reasoning resulting in confirmation bias.
Human reproduction intervals are so long it takes a long time to adapt from a genetic standpoint. What doesn’t take a long time is knowledge of making tools and using them. Fire, flint, spears, shelter, clothing, etc. are things that are learned and used immediately. These are things that allow hominids to adapt quickly.
Other more immediate pressures result societal movement. Lack/abundance of game, lack/abundance of flora, geologic changes, other larger groups, etc.
If you look for climate with a climate model you’ll probably find something. I’m not sure that would be the predominate thing that changed a genetic composition.
Oh, great. Another biased what-if fantasy run on a super computer..
I could have saved you all the money and effort. Yes climate changed while humans were evolving so yes you can fudge a correlation – so what?
Uhhh, who didn’t know this? I thought the point of research was to learn something new.
Under the video it says:
So, it’s undeniable “science” that humans were burning fossil fuels millions of years ago … undoubtedly other species were all run over by an SUV.