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Lake sediments in 10 Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Tanzanian rift basins suggest that there were three humid periods at 2.7 to 2.5 million years ago (Ma), 1.9 to 1.7 Ma, and 1.1 to 0.9 Ma, superimposed on the longer-term aridification of East Africa. These humid periods correlate with increased aridity in northwest and northeast Africa and with substantial global(More)
Executive summary Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century Eff ects of climate change on health will aff ect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk. During this century, earth's average surface temperature rises are likely to exceed the safe threshold of 2°C(More)
The Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), a rapid global warming event and carbon-cycle perturbation of the early Palaeogene, provides a unique test of climate and carbon-cycle models as well as our understanding of sedimentary methane hydrate stability, albeit under conditions very different from the modern. The principal expression of the PETM in the(More)
Tropical rain forest has been a persistent feature in South America for at least 55 million years. The future of the contemporary Amazon forest is uncertain, however, as the region is entering conditions with no past analogue, combining rapidly increasing air temperatures, high atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, possible extreme droughts, and(More)
The late Cenozoic climate of East Africa is punctuated by episodes of short, alternating periods of extreme wetness and aridity, superimposed on a regime of subdued moisture availability exhibiting a long-term drying trend. These periods of extreme climate variability appear to correlate with maxima in the 400-thousand-year (kyr) component of the Earth's(More)
The late Cenozoic climate of Africa is a critical component for understanding human evolution. African climate is controlled by major tectonic changes, global climate transitions, and local variations in orbital forcing. We introduce the special African Paleoclimate Issue of the Journal of Human Evolution by providing a background for and synthesis of the(More)
In the context of gradual Cenozoic cooling, the timing of the onset of significant Northern Hemisphere glaciation 2.7 million years ago is consistent with Milankovitch's orbital theory, which posited that ice sheets grow when polar summertime insolation and temperature are low. However, the role of moisture supply in the initiation of large Northern(More)