Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What implications does this have for modern climate change?

Climate change hasn't been all bad, according to a new study released in the journal Nature Communications. Researchers studying human development in South Africa have learned that climate change promoted human development.

Some Middle-Stone Age artifacts reveal the level of sophistication during the period.

Some Middle-Stone Age artifacts reveal the level of sophistication during the period.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Climate change, prehistoric, humans, middle stone age, tools, language, jewelry, development, weather


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new study reveals that periods of primitive human development occurred in concert with periods of rapid climate change.

The study examined human development during the Middle Stone Age, from about 280,000 to 30,000 years ago. According to the research, there were bursts of development which coincided with sudden shifts in climate. 

Two distinct periods were noted, the first 71,500 years ago and the second between 64,000 and 59,000 years ago.

Innovations that occurred during these periods were the development of complex language, engraving, the manufacture, and use of modern-style, sophisticated tools, including bone tools, and the use of jewelry.

While these developments might seem primitive, as they are, they represent monumental shifts in human thinking and ways of doing things.

Climate change was one variable these periods of development had in common. Co-author of the study, Martin Ziegler of the Cardiff University School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, told AFP that "We show for the first time that the timing of... these periods of innovation coincided with abrupt climate change."

"We found that South Africa experienced wetter conditions during these periods of cultural advance. At the same time, large parts of sub-Saharan Africa experienced drier conditions, so that South Africa potentially acted as a refugium for early humans."

Zeigler's team reconstructed ancient regional climate records based on sediment cores drilled across the east coast of South Africa. The cores reveal changes in climate including variations in rainfall and river outflow.

The team found that changes which included abrupt cooling in the northern hemisphere, made the Sahara region into a desert but also made South Africa much wetter. As people migrated south to live in more hospitable climes, they mingled with native inhabitants and probably exchanged ideas. This promoted development.

However, development in some areas also stopped, and disappeared altogether, and those stops appear to be linked to changes in the climate. Those stops remain unexplained.

Zeigler said, "Additional genetic evidence suggests that the appearance of industries occurred when the total number of humans on the planet was actually very small. On one hand we had a restricted number of humans, and on the other we had a very small habitable area and maybe the combination of these factors made the development and spread of new techniques easier. That may have been an important factor, but we cannot say for sure yet how the climate change we observe actually caused the appearance of cultural innovations."

"It offers for the first time the possibility to compare the archaeological record with a record of climate change over the same period and thus helps us to understand the origins of modern humans," Ziegler said.

Scientists already understand that climate changes and it affects human development. This study could have implications for modern society as well. The study suggests that climate change drives human migration patterns as people seek out better places and climates in which to live. These migrations can spur development and innovations in some cases, but in more modern times with much larger populations, mass migrations are more likely to upset established orders.

Regardless of the consequences, climate is dynamic and changes and the best humans can do is adapt to it, for better or worse.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Astronomers discover a new 'Super Earth' proving the Kepler spacecraft still has the right stuff despite malfunction Watch

Image of Kepler has discovered hundreds of new planets, proving that planets are a normal part of stellar formation.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Kepler planet hunting probe has detected another Earth-like planet 180 light-years from the Sun. The planet is massive and hot and uninhabitable, but it demonstrates once again that scientists have the ability to detect these new worlds with increasing accuracy. ... continue reading


Anywhere in the world in four hours or less: Space plane receives approval from European Space Agency Watch

Image of Reaction Engines proclaim that the technology is the biggest step in air travel since the jet engine was invented.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A futuristic plane that could fly anyone anywhere in the world in four hours or less, as well as carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without using rockets, has come closer to reality. The European Space Agency has given approval to the Skylon plane this ... continue reading


BURP! There! Proof of life existing on the planet Mars Watch

Image of If the gas were coming from living microbes on Mars, the finding would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belches...and worse, could have just proven the evidence of life on Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover has detected mysterious spikes of methane. These rude outbursts can't be explained away by geology or other theories. The rover has been on Mars since 2012. ... continue reading


Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
1 Once the king had settled into his palace and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 16:25-27
25 And now to him who can make you strong in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 21st, 2014 Image

St. Peter Canisius
December 21: In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter