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Ancient drought 'changed history'
BBC ^ | 12/07/05 | Roland Pease

Posted on 12/08/2005 3:58:46 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster

Ancient drought 'changed history'

By Roland Pease
BBC science unit, San Francisco

Drilling platform (Scholz)
The sediments are an archive of past climate conditions
Scientists have identified a major climate crisis that struck Africa about 70,000 years ago and which may have changed the course of human history.

The evidence comes from sediments drilled up from the beds of Lake Malawi and Tanganyika in East Africa, and from Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana.

It shows equatorial Africa experienced a prolonged period of drought.

It is possible, scientists say, this was the reason some of the first humans left Africa to populate the globe.

Certainly, those who remained on the continent at that time would have had to be extremely resilient to make it through such hard times.

"This was a profound impact on the landscape," said Christopher Scholz, from Syracuse University, US.

"So it must have had a major impact, not just on humans but on all species in equatorial Africa at this time."

Tight group

Dr Scholz presented data from the drilling project here at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

The cores reveal that prior to 75,000 years ago, Lake Malawi, which is currently an inland sea some 550km long and 700m deep, was reduced to a couple of pools no more than 10km across and 200m deep.

Worse still was Lake Bosumtwi. Currently a 10km-wide lake that fills an old space impact crater, it lost all of its water.

Only a prolonged continent-wide drought could have had this effect. What makes the timing so fascinating is that it ties in with the "Eve hypothesis" of human evolution.

Genetic studies suggest modern human society is descended from a group of around 10,000 individuals who lived in East Africa at the time of this crisis.

Immediately after its end, human populations started to expand rapidly - and many of our ancestors began moving out of Africa and into the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Driving force

Scientists are increasingly convinced that tragedies in the deep past have shaped human evolution.

The intriguing thought is that we owe our existence to a small band of survivors who clung on to life during a crisis of epic proportions or who simply decided they had to move to find water.

Satellite image of Lake Bosumtwi (Nasa/LPI)
Viewed from space: Lake Bosumtwi is in an old impact crater
"We think there may be a connection between this climatic release - that is the rise in lake levels following this major desiccation event - and the order of magnitude increase in early modern humans," Dr Scholz said.

"And, also, there may be a connection with the exodus of early modern humans out of Africa and this climatic release.

"There's been recognition that speciation of hominids is controlled by environmental factors - whether that's long-term changes in aridfication in Africa or perhaps the dramatic increase in variability in environmental conditions, such as in precipitation, temperature, and so forth."



TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: africa; catastrophism; crevolist; drought; egypt; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; human; humanmigration; impact; multiregionalism; outofafrica

1 posted on 12/08/2005 3:58:47 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster; neverdem; SunkenCiv; blam

Out of Africa, Ping!


2 posted on 12/08/2005 3:59:27 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Is it possibly to truly "change history" as the headline states?


3 posted on 12/08/2005 4:08:07 AM PST by AndrewB
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I guess we can't blame this on global warming or Bush. Never mind, the dems will think of something around that.


4 posted on 12/08/2005 4:09:08 AM PST by hershey
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The supposed sudden disappearance of the Saraswati river in ancient India, and not the Aryan influx, is thought to have led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilisation.


5 posted on 12/08/2005 4:09:54 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
"So it must have had a major impact, not just on humans but on all species in equatorial Africa at this time."

I guess this is why you see so many Wildebeast in American, they all migrated out of Africa because if this drought, right? Changing history isn't possible unless you are a Democrat or a communist. History is what it is, the drought happened therefore it is the history of that time.

6 posted on 12/08/2005 4:29:10 AM PST by calex59 (Seeing the light shouldn't make you blind...)
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To: hershey
I guess we can't blame this on global warming or Bush.

What about all those time travelers with their Mr. Fusion-equipped SUVs that will be going back there to cause Global Warming®? I guess you aren't aware that Bushco (with KKKarl Rove as the CEO) is developing time travel technology. It's true, I will see it on the Internet as soon as I hit the "Post" button.

7 posted on 12/08/2005 4:30:20 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Democrats are guilty of whatever they scream the loudest about.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

If history only goes back about 5000 years, what history was there to change?


8 posted on 12/08/2005 4:54:55 AM PST by shekkian
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To: shekkian
Re #8

It should have been "natural history," not human history.

9 posted on 12/08/2005 4:57:32 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
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To: AndrewB
Is it possibly to truly "change history" as the headline states?

You can "revise" history.

10 posted on 12/08/2005 5:19:17 AM PST by shekkian
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To: AndrewB

Rather than "changing" history, this looks more like it "rerouted" it.


11 posted on 12/08/2005 5:24:11 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

It 'changed' nothing.

It CREATED 'history'; just like a flood did as resently as 3 months ago in NO!!!!
12 posted on 12/08/2005 5:58:54 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

This was covered pretty well in a PBS documentary (Nova, I think) that focussed on the back-tracking of human history via the Y chromosome. However, IIRC, they felt the drought, due to an Ice Age, was comewhat more recent than 70,000 years.


13 posted on 12/08/2005 7:27:10 AM PST by expatpat
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To: CarrotAndStick; Elsie; expatpat
from a (probably) dead link:
Evolution in Your Face
by Patrick Huyghe
Omni

Wayback Machine versions
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, is home to more than 300 species of cichlids. These fish, which are popular in aquariums, are deep-bodied and have one nostril, rather than the usual two, on each side of the head. Seismic profiles and cores of the lake taken by a team headed by Thomas C. Johnson of the University of Minnesota, reveal that the lake dried up completely about 12,400 years ago. This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years!

14 posted on 12/08/2005 9:50:12 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks TigerLikesRooster for the topic and ping.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

15 posted on 12/08/2005 9:50:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

bfl!


16 posted on 12/08/2005 9:51:59 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Bump


17 posted on 12/08/2005 10:11:24 AM PST by indcons (Merry Christmas and happy holidays, FRiends)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Sounds like the pre-historic Africans overused their SUV's and triggered a global warming crisis. Too bad they didn't have a written language. They didn't know all they had to do was sign a treaty and all would be well.
18 posted on 12/08/2005 10:16:44 AM PST by colorado tanker (I can't comment on things that might come before the Court, but I can tell you my Pinochle strategy)
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To: SunkenCiv
This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years!

Alternatively, it could mean there was a residual reservoir of cichlid fishes, of which the researches are currrently unaware.

Especialy so, since that would help explain where the fish came from in the first place, if the lake actually "completely" dried up. 300 species don't come from no ancestral population, but could easily come for a remnant pool of 300 ancestral species.

19 posted on 12/08/2005 11:37:10 AM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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To: ApplegateRanch

In Texas a species of snail darter (minnow) located in the San Marcos went on the endangered species list and caused about 5 Billion dollars in changes to the Texas water plans.

Strangely enough, these springs went completely dry during the lenghty drought of the 50s--and no one has successfully explained how these snail darters survived to become a listed species in the 80s.


20 posted on 12/08/2005 11:46:08 AM PST by wildbill
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To: expatpat
Dating is important as one major known catastrophic event happened at roughly that time. The most recent eruption of a super volcano, Toba in Indonesia happened about 75k years ago and blew a hole 60 by 18 miles wide and up to a mile deep there. Toba is by far the largest geologic event of the last 100k years. Shooting all that material into the atmosphere certainly messed up the world climate for several years. If this African drought happened right after Toba blew than look no further for its explanation. Also look no further than Toba for the reduced human population of that time that genetic research implies. It had to have a major effect on mankind at the time, but I don't think we have any human records, not even the legends of the Australian aborigines, that go back quite that far.
21 posted on 12/08/2005 11:55:23 AM PST by JohnBovenmyer
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To: TigerLikesRooster

btt


22 posted on 12/08/2005 12:37:43 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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Later read.


23 posted on 12/08/2005 12:40:08 PM PST by Rocket1968 (Durbin must resign - NOW!)
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To: JohnBovenmyer
"Also look no further than Toba for the reduced human population of that time that genetic research implies. It had to have a major effect on mankind at the time, but I don't think we have any human records, not even the legends of the Australian aborigines, that go back quite that far."

I agree. Probably Toba. I've seen estimates as low as 2,000 for the worldwide human population after Toba. Most are closer to 5,000 with some ranging up to 10,000. Even so, not many people for the whole world.

The Last Glacial Maximum(LGM) 18-23,000 years ago thinned out the human population dramatically too.

24 posted on 12/08/2005 12:51:21 PM PST by blam
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To: TigerLikesRooster

bump


25 posted on 12/08/2005 12:53:07 PM PST by VOA
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I'm a proud member of Haplogroup G2


26 posted on 12/08/2005 12:53:48 PM PST by add925
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To: expatpat
"However, IIRC, they felt the drought, due to an Ice Age, was comewhat more recent than 70,000 years."

See my post #24. It may have been the Last Glacial Maximum, the coldest period of the Ice Age.

27 posted on 12/08/2005 12:55:31 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv
something on average of one new species every 40 years!

Or that fishy Gramma had been drinking wacky juice and squirted out ALL these critters herself!


(This assumin' is FUN! I'll have to do it more often!)

28 posted on 12/08/2005 1:37:23 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: blam
The Last Glacial Maximum(LGM) 18-23,000 years ago thinned out the human population dramatically too.

Why??

I'da moved South!!!

29 posted on 12/08/2005 1:39:36 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: blam

Glaciers locking up all the water so that streams and lakes go dry.....


30 posted on 12/08/2005 1:40:34 PM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
Glaciers locking up all the water so that streams and lakes go dry.....

Yes, but much more than that. The glaciers suck the moisture out of the air, which is how they grow. The area along the face of a giant glacier can be as dry as a desert.

31 posted on 12/08/2005 4:55:17 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 31-69)
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To: AndrewB

I thought only historians and politicians could do that. : )


32 posted on 12/08/2005 4:57:30 PM PST by bigsigh
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To: LiteKeeper

ping


33 posted on 12/08/2005 5:26:04 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: JohnBovenmyer; blam

The PBS program I referred to was talking about a drought and drop in sea-level that resulted from an Ice Age, when glaciers bound up a great deal of the water in the atmosphere and the oceans, forcing those in interior Africa like the clicking bushmen we are descended from to move.


34 posted on 12/08/2005 6:46:23 PM PST by expatpat
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To: PatrickHenry
Maybe worth a look.
35 posted on 12/08/2005 6:52:22 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior
Very interesting. But it's probably a "Blam" thread more than it is one of ours.

Junior, archive?

36 posted on 12/08/2005 6:55:32 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Coitenly. The archive's an archive after all...


37 posted on 12/08/2005 7:28:01 PM PST by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: expatpat
There have been lots of ice ages in history, but not many super volcano eruptions. When a dramatic drought falls reasonably close to the latter and PBS blames the former I get suspicious. There is loads of liberal angst regarding the former, but little regarding the latter. I guess they haven't figured out how to blame volcanoes on Bush yet. They'd love to have an ice age just to blame Bush for it. Absolute geologic dates c. 75k ago often are give or take a few thousand years. Sometimes data exists to compare one ancient event to another more precisely. I don't know if that exists here. If the drought closely followed Toba I'd blame Toba even if there was an ice age then. It wouldn't surprise me for Toba to have triggered an ice age itself. It put a lot more into the atmosphere than we and the Russians could have in nuclear war, yet the left loved scream about 'nuclear winter.'
38 posted on 12/08/2005 10:50:58 PM PST by JohnBovenmyer
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To: JohnBovenmyer

How'd we ever get from NW to GW???


Seems to me, if it gets too warm, all we gotta do is pop of a few nukes!!


39 posted on 12/09/2005 5:45:23 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
It shows equatorial Africa experienced a prolonged period of drought.

Al Gore just called. Turns out it was Global Warming that caused this. As the inventor off the internet, Al proclaims that this was a precursor event to show how bad things could get...

Unfortunately the oral history of the local inhabitants failed to carry the message accurately to the present day.(/sarc)

40 posted on 12/09/2005 5:53:59 AM PST by Cliff Dweller ("get thar fustest with the mostest." GEN NB Forrest)
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To: JohnBovenmyer; blam

"The last glacial maximum 18,000 to 23,000 years ago."

There were a number of major volcanic events from 28 kya to 22 kya, that appeared to cause a stepwise decrease in temperatures. The one for 22,000 years ago was Mt. Sakura-jima in Japan. It left a crater 15 miles in diameter, which is now a great bay with a much smaller volcano of the same name on one side. I would love to get time and size data on a few other possible major volcanic events for that period.


41 posted on 01/09/2007 12:58:15 AM PST by gleeaikin
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42 posted on 09/21/2012 4:56:51 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
Evolution in Your Face
by Patrick Huyghe
Omni
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, is home to more than 300 species of cichlids. These fish, which are popular in aquariums, are deep-bodied and have one nostril, rather than the usual two, on each side of the head. Seismic profiles and cores of the lake taken by a team headed by Thomas C. Johnson of the University of Minnesota, reveal that the lake dried up completely about 12,400 years ago. This means that the rate of speciation of cichlid fishes has been extremely rapid: something on average of one new species every 40 years!
12,400 years ago? Hydrologic cycle came to a screeching whoa for some reason, hmm, what could it have been?

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


43 posted on 09/21/2012 4:56:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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