Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Technology

Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


Singapore tech shames Google - Here's why we're all looking forward to it! Watch

Image of Singapore is home to the most advanced autonomous car (asiawebdirect).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After securing $3.6 million to fund an up-and-coming piece of technology, an MIT-spinoff company based in Singapore shames Google's driverless car. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With news of self-driving taxis popping up across the internet, it should come as no ... continue reading


Cannibalism: What lengths would YOU take to survive? Watch

Image of The fight has moved from the physical to the digital (cstins12/YouTube).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Time is money and money is everything. It pays for your home, food, technology, education, transit and basic needs - but what happens when your time no longer brings in the money? What would you resort to if you knew you would starve? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How to see the green Comet 252P Watch

Image of Observers will see comet 252P as a faint green fuzzy patch. Naked eye viewing from a suburban or urban area may be virtually impossible. Observers will want a dark sky location, binoculars are recommended. Stargazers will need to look south about 90 minutes before dawn.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pair of green comets have zipped frightfully close to Earth, and it may be possible to catch a glimpse of one from your backyard. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Astronomers were caught by surprise when they detected a new comet on January 22 using the ... continue reading


Astronomers discover galaxies so bright, they break the scale used to measure them Watch

Image of Astronomers have discovered galaxies that are three times brighter than they should be.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers have discovered the brightest galaxies yet, shinning so brightly, they do not even fall on a scale they use to measure luminosity. The discovery could help refine their understanding of the nature of the early universe and how galaxies formed. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:22-31
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 57:8-9, 10-12
8 Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp, that I may awake the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:12-17
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 29th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine of Siena
April 29: St. Catherine of Siena was born during the ... Read More