Harvard Climate Seminar


Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 4:00pm


Haller Hall (Geology Museum 102)

“Climate and the Peopling of the World” by Peter de Menocal (Columbia University)


One of the most puzzling questions in modern human origins has been why the dispersal of modern Homo sapiens out of Africa was so delayed after their first appearance in East African fossil record near  ~200 ka (ka, thousands of years ago). Fossil, archaeological, and genetic evidence indicate that early migrations into the Levant and Arabian Peninsula occurred around 120-90 ka, but the global dispersal of our kind did not occur until after 70-60 ka. New paleoclimate records and coupled climate-vegetation-population modeling constrain this narrative, highlighting the central importance of high- and low-latitude climate interactions in regulating the flows of humanity out of Africa that populated the world.