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Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans

Kaboth-Bahr, S; Gosling, WD; Vogelsang, R; Bahr, A; Scerri, EML; Asrat, A; Cohen, AS; ... Trauth, MH; + view all (2021) Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 118 (23) , Article e2018277118. 10.1073/pnas.2018277118. Green open access

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Abstract

In this study, we synthesize terrestrial and marine proxy records, spanning the past 620 ky, to decipher pan-African climate variability and its drivers and potential linkages to hominin evolution. We find a tight correlation between moisture availability across Africa to El Niño Southern Ocean oscillation (ENSO) variability, a manifestation of the Walker Circulation, that was most likely driven by changes in Earth's eccentricity. Our results demonstrate that low-latitude insolation was a prominent driver of pan-African climate change during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. We argue that these low-latitude climate processes governed the dispersion and evolution of vegetation as well as mammals in eastern and western Africa by increasing resource-rich and stable ecotonal settings thought to have been important to early modern humans.

Type: Article
Title: Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2018277118
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2018277118
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: African paleoclimate, Walker and Hadley circulation, hominin evolution, orbital forcing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130574
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