African ‘Climate Seesaw’ Drove Human Evolution

African ‘Climate Seesaw’ Drove Human Evolution
AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos

A scientific consortium led by Dr Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr of the University of Potsdam has found that ancient El Niño-like weather patterns were the primary drivers of environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 620 thousand years – the critical timeframe for the evolution of our species. The group found that these ancient weather patterns had more profound impacts in sub-Saharan Africa than glacial-interglacial cycles more commonly linked to human evolution.

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