In the current era of global warming, scientists at the Geological Society of America are taking a look at ancient periods of climate variability, some of which lasted for millions of years. During these periods, great strides were made in human intelligence, language, and creativity. Will this happen again?

Some of the questions scientists are asking are: why did only one species (us) learn to walk on two legs (leaving the other two limbs free to use tools)? How did climate change influence our exodus from Africa (while other primates stayed behind)? Geologist Gail Ashley says, “The answers to these questions will not all come from the bones, but from what was taking place in the environment in which they were found.”

At an upcoming meeting in Seattle, scientists will talk about soil samples that show evidence that extreme drought forced early humans to migrate out of Africa millions of years ago. More recent evidence from China shows that climate fluctuations led to a vast migration over the Bering Land Bridge into the North American continent 400,000 years ago. Geologic factors such as earthquakes, sea level changes, and climate fluctuations also put pressure on where early man settled and evolved.

The weather is changing again, but there’s not much empty space left in the world. We may not be able to change where we live, but we will have to change the places where we grow food.

There’s high adventure to be found in more recent human history?and fascinating questions as well. These books are part of our overstock sale.

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