Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ABOUT US
Origins of human culture linked to rapid climate change
by Staff Writers
Cardiff UK (SPX) May 24, 2013


Bifacial points recovered from Blombos Cave, South Africa. The tools were manufactured in the Middle Stone Age and are made of silcrete and finished by pressure flaking. Image courtesy Christopher Henshilwood, University of the Witwatersrand

Rapid climate change during the Middle Stone Age, between 80,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age, sparked surges in cultural innovation in early modern human populations, according to new research.

The research, published this month in Nature Communications, was conducted by a team of scientists from Cardiff University's School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Barcelona.

The scientists studied a marine sediment core off the coast of South Africa and reconstructed terrestrial climate variability over the last 100,000 years.

Dr Martin Ziegler, Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: "We found that South Africa experienced rapid climate transitions toward wetter conditions at times when the Northern Hemisphere experienced extremely cold conditions."

These large Northern Hemisphere cooling events have previously been linked to a change in the Atlantic Ocean circulation that led to a reduced transport of warm water to the high latitudes in the North. In response to this Northern Hemisphere cooling, large parts of the sub-Saharan Africa experienced very dry conditions.

"Our new data however, contrasts with sub-Saharan Africa and demonstrates that the South African climate responded in the opposite direction, with increasing rainfall, that can be associated with a globally occurring southward shift of the tropical monsoon belt."

Linking climate change with human evolution
Professor Ian Hall, Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: "When the timing of these rapidly occurring wet pulses was compared with the archaeological datasets, we found remarkable coincidences.

"The occurrence of several major Middle Stone Age industries fell tightly together with the onset of periods with increased rainfall."

"Similarly, the disappearance of the industries appears to coincide with the transition to drier climatic conditions."

Professor Chris Stringer of London's Natural History Museum commented "The correspondence between climatic ameliorations and cultural innovations supports the view that population growth fuelled cultural changes, through increased human interactions."

The South African archaeological record is so important because it shows some of the oldest evidence for modern behavior in early humans. This includes the use of symbols, which has been linked to the development of complex language, and personal adornments made of seashells.

"The quality of the southern African data allowed us to make these correlations between climate and behavioural change, but it will require comparable data from other areas before we can say whether this region was uniquely important in the development of modern human culture" added Professor Stringer.

The new study presents the most convincing evidence so far that abrupt climate change was instrumental in this development.

.


Related Links
Cardiff University
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ABOUT US
Do salamanders hold the solution to regeneration
Melbourne, Australia (SPX) May 22, 2013
Salamanders' immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have found. In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences researchers from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University found th ... read more


ABOUT US
Death toll in China blast rises to 33: Xinhua

Italian town struggles to rebuild a year after quakes

US tornado survivors begin rebuilding their lives

How should geophysics contribute to disaster planning

ABOUT US
Iron-platinum alloys could be new-generation hard drives

Computational tool translates complex data into simplified 2-dimensional images

3-D modeling technology offers groundbreaking solution for engineers

NASA Seeks High-Performance Spaceflight Computing Capabilities

ABOUT US
Spain and France agree on fishing quota swap

LLNL scientist finds topography of Eastern Seaboard muddles ancient sea level changes

Why we need to put the fish back into fisheries

Scientists explore roots of future tropical rainfall

ABOUT US
Russia plans urgent evacuation of Arctic post as ice melts

Sea level influenced tropical climate during the last ice age

World's biggest ice sheets likely more stable than previously believed

Tropical air circulation drives fall warming on Antarctic Peninsula

ABOUT US
Argentine grain exports hit by port workers' strike

Parasitic wasps use calcium pump to block fruit fly immunity

New discovery of ancient diet shatters conventional ideas of how agriculture emerged

Farmers plant rice near doomed Fukushima plant

ABOUT US
Easter Island statue erected in Japan tsunami town

Seven months after Sandy, New York beaches re-open

Volcanoes Cause Climate Gas Concentrations to Vary

US Atlantic braces for active hurricane season

ABOUT US
Nigeria says women, children held by Boko Haram freed

Africa celebrates progress and 50 years of 'unity'

US urges Nigeria military to avoid rights abuses

Chinese vice premier calls for stability in Zimbabwe

ABOUT US
Origins of human culture linked to rapid climate change

Climate change boosted human development: study

Do salamanders hold the solution to regeneration

Brain frontal lobes not sole centre of human intelligence




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement