Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ “Ten One Billionth of Cosmic History” – Past Homo Species Could Not Survive Intense Climate Change (Weekend Feature)

“Ten One Billionth of Cosmic History” – Past Homo Species Could Not Survive Intense Climate Change (Weekend Feature)



The human experience on our light blue dot “has lasted for less than 10 a billionth of cosmic history surrounded by a large lifeless space, but we humans congratulate ourselves,” says Peter Brannen author of The end of the world about the current reign of humans, recently named the Anthropocene – the period from the atomic age of the 1950s, when human activity has been the dominant influence on the climate and the environment – “on an undeserved geological heritage before we have appeared in able to escape the next century with our lives.And moreover, most of our proudest creations – entire cities and landscapes – will be destroyed by the incessant destruction of tectonics and erosion … many of the synthetic markers proposed to delineate The Anthropocene will not survive insults from deep time. ”

Anthropocene – “Human arrogance?”

“It’s human arrogance,” Brannen adds, to coin an era, the Anthropocene, which can not be compared to a geological era on a par with a yawning period like the Early Cretaceous, an era that lasted 600,000 times longer than this new one, or the dinosaurs’. reign that lasted more than 225 million years. The Anthropocene, Brannen concludes, is an event, not an epoch.

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Previous extinction of gay species

The fire’s conclusions anticipate a new study – “Earlier extinction of gay species coincided with increased vulnerability to climate change” – to understand the climate change of early humans and how they reacted to climate change. The study shows 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 spearheads, fitted clothing and a good amount of cultural and genetic exchange with Homo sapiens, former Homo species could not survive intense climate change, ”says Pasquale Raia of the Università di Napoli Federico II. “They tried hard; they provided the warmest places within easy reach as the climate became cold, but at the end of the day it was not enough.

“We were surprised by the regular impact of climate change,” says Raia. “It was crystal clear to the extinct species and only to them that the climatic conditions were far too extreme just before extinction and only at that moment.”

Warning to people today

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

“It is worrying to discover that our ancestors, who were no less impressive in terms of mental power compared to other species on Earth, could not withstand climate change,” he said. “And we found out that just when our own species was sawing the branch, we are causing climate change. I personally take this as a thunderous warning message. Climate change has made Homo vulnerable and unhappy in the past, and it can just happen again. ”

Extensive fossil database

To shed light on previous 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 former climate emulator that provides temperature , precipitation and other data over the last 5 million years. They also looked at an extensive fossil database spanning more than 2,750 archaeological records to model the evolution of Homo-species’ climatic niche over time.

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

“Crystal clear” effect of climate change

“We were surprised by the regular impact of climate change,” says Raia. “It was crystal clear to the extinct species and only to them that the climatic conditions were far too extreme just before extinction and only at that moment.”

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

“It is worrying to discover that our ancestors, who were no less impressive in terms of mental power compared to other species on Earth, could not withstand climate change,” he said. “And we found out that just when our own species was sawing the branch, we are causing climate change. I personally take this as a thunderous warning message. Climate change has made Homo vulnerable and unhappy in the past, and it can just happen again. ”

Source: Pasquale Raia et al. Earlier extinction of gay species coincided with increased vulnerability to climate change. One soil. Published: October 15, 2020. DOI: 10.1016 / j.oneear.2020.09.007

The Daily Galaxy, Andy Johnson via The Atlantic, Cell Press and Raia’s Lab

Image credit at top of page: Thanks to Pixabay




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