Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2013 (3 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 (3 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 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Technology

Faception: New app to identify everyone from pedophiles to terrorists Watch

Image of Faception app can play huge role in national security (snapmunk).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new app just signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify national threats to security - but is it accurate? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Faception is a new facial recognition app that can identify everyone from terrorists to poker ... continue reading


DISLIKE: Facebook blames Zuckerberg bias on employees, promises to retrain Watch

Image of It's the employees, never the boss, who is responsible.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Facebook has announced they will retrain employees responsible for curating their news content. The social networking giant has been accused of censoring news and content with a conservative slant in favor of liberal content. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Think again! Soon, EVERY job will be taken by robots Watch

Image of In the future, every job will be performed by a robot. Robots will even repair and design other robots. What happens when human labor becomes obsolete?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

All healthy, well adjusted people want to work. It's hardwired into our DNA to build, to produce, to gather, grow and trade. Without this impulse, our species could never have built civilization. But what happens when an essential part of our being becomes obsolete? ... continue reading


We are THIS close to finding life on another planet Watch

Image of The James Webb Space Telescope may bring us the answers we seek regarding life in the universe.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have announced the discovery of three planets in the habitable zone of a star just 39 light years away. Such planets have the potential to host life, making them targets for future study. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Are scientists about to ... continue reading


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


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, First Peter 1:18-25
18 For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.13 For he ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2016 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical ... Read More