Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, African climate and human evolution

Trauth, Martin H, Asrat, Asfawossen, Berner, Nadine, Bibi, Faysal, Foerster, Verena, Grove, Matt ORCID: 0000-0002-2293-8732, Kaboth-Bahr, Stefanie, Maslin, Mark A, Mudelsee, Manfred and Schäbitz, Frank
(2021) Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, African climate and human evolution. Quaternary Science Reviews, 268. p. 107095.

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The hypothesis of a connection between the onset (or intensification) of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, the stepwise increase in African aridity (and climate variability), and an important mammalian (including hominin) species turnover is a textbook example of the initiation of a scientific idea and its propagation in science. It is, however, also an example of the persistent popularity of a hypothesis despite mounting evidence against it. A critical review of key publications on the topic and statistical re-analysis of key records of global ice volume and African climate leads to three conclusions: (1) The Northern Hemisphere Glaciation was a gradual process occurring between ∼3.5 and 2.5 Ma, not a single event at ∼2.8 Ma or at any other time. (2) A consistent stepwise (+/−0.2 Ma) transition toward greater aridity in Africa at ∼2.8 Ma does not exist; instead, there are regionally different, gradual transitions partly in connection with the intensification of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation, but above all with the establishment of the tropical Walker Circulation after ∼2 Ma. (3) Mammalian (including hominin) species turnovers at this time also appear to have been gradual, rather than stepwise.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Onset of the northern hemisphere glaciation, Paleoclimate dynamics, Eastern africa, Human evolution, Time-series analysis
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 08:00
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 08:03
DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107095
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