In this news, we discuss the Climate change drove early human species to extinction, study says.
Climate change likely played a major role in driving the first human species to extinction, according to a modeling study released on Friday which researchers say serves a “thunderous warning message” to humans today.
Of the six or more species of early humans, all belonging to the genus Homo, only Homo sapiens managed to survive.
The study, published in the journal One Earth, combined climate modeling and fossil records to search for clues as to what led to all of those past extinctions of our ancient ancestors.
“Our results show that… the Homo species of the past could not survive intense climate change,” said Pasquale Raia of Universita di Napoli Federico II in Italy.
This despite technological innovations such as the use of fire and fine stone tools, the formation of complex social networks, and – in the case of Neanderthals – the production of glued spearheads, tight fitting clothing and a fair amount of cultural and genetic exchanges with Homo sapiens, explained Raia.
“They tried hard; they made their way to the hottest places within easy reach as the weather turned cold, but at the end of the day that was not enough, ”he said.
The discovery may serve as a sort of warning to humans today as we face unprecedented climate change, the researchers said.
To shed light on past extinctions of Homo species, including H. habilis, H.ergaster, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, they relied on a high-resolution past climate emulator. , which provides temperature, rainfall and other data over the last 5 million years.
The team also analyzed a large database of fossils spanning more than 2,750 archaeological records to model the evolution of the climatic niche of the Homo species over time.
Their findings offer strong evidence that three Homo species – H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis – lost a significant portion of their climatic niche just before going extinct.
This reduction coincided with abrupt and unfavorable changes in the global climate, the researchers said.
In the case of Neanderthals, things were likely made even worse by competition with H. sapiens, they said.
“We were surprised at the regularity of the effect of climate change,” said Raia.
“It was crystal clear, for the extinct species and for them alone, that the climatic conditions were just too extreme just before the extinction and only at this precise moment,” he added.
The researchers noted that it is disturbing to discover that our ancestors, who were no less impressive in terms of mental power compared to any other species on Earth, could not withstand climate change.
“And we found that just as our own species saws the branch we sit on causing climate change. Personally, I take this as a thunderous warning message.
Climate change drove the first human species to extinction, study finds
Ancient Homo species couldn’t survive intense climate change