Climate change likely caused early human species to become extinct, according...

Climate change likely caused early human species to become extinct, according...
Climate change likely caused early human species to become extinct, according...
Of the six or more different species of early humans, all of which belong to the genus Homo, only we Homo sapiens survived. Well reported a study in the journal One earth The combination of climate modeling and fossil record on October 15 in search of clues to our ancient ancestors’ earlier extinctions suggests that climate change – the inability to adapt to warming or cooling temperatures – likely played an important role in sealing their fate.

“Our results show that despite technological innovations, including the use of fire and nifty stone tools, the formation of complex social networks and – in the case of Neanderthals – even the manufacture of glued spearheads, customized clothing, and a good amount due to the cultural and genetic Exchanges with Homo sapiens, earlier homo species could not survive the intense climate change, “says Pasquale Raia from the Università di Napoli Federico II in Napoli, Italy. “You have tried very hard; they went to the warmest places within easy reach when the climate got cold, but at the end of the day that wasn’t enough. ”

To shed light on the extinction of earlier homo-species such as H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, the researchers relied on a high-resolution climate emulator in the past that provides temperature, Precipitation and other data over the past 5 million years. They also searched an extensive fossil database for more than 2,750 archaeological records to model the evolution of the climatic niche of the homo species over time. The aim was to understand the climate preferences of these early humans and how they responded to climate change.

Their studies provide robust evidence that three homo-species – H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis – lost a significant part of their climatic niche shortly before extinction. They report that this decline coincided with large, adverse changes in global climate. In the case of the Neanderthals, competition with H. sapiens probably made matters worse.

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

Raia notes that the paleoclimatic reconstruction, the identification of fossil remains at the species level, and the aging of fossil sites are uncertain. But, he says, the most important findings “apply under all conditions”. The results could serve as a kind of warning to humans today as we face unprecedented climate change, says Raia.

“It is worrying to discover that our ancestors, no less impressive in their mental powers than any other species on earth, have not been able to withstand climate change,” he said. “And we have found that when our own species is sawing the branch we are sitting on, climate change is caused. Personally, I take this as a thundering warning message. Climate change has made homosexuals vulnerable and unhappy in the past, and it may just be that way. ”Happens again. ”

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This work was supported by MCTIC / CNPq / FAPEG.

One earth, Raia et al .: “The extinction of homo species in the past coincided with an increased vulnerability to climate 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 with articles in the fields of natural, social, and applied sciences. One earth is home to high quality research that seeks to understand and address the major environmental challenges of today and to publish across the full spectrum of environmental change and sustainability science. Visit http: // www.Cell.With/one earth. Please turn to [email protected]to receive media notifications from Cell Press.

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