Paleo-ENSO influence on African environments and early modern humans

S. Kaboth-Bahr, W.D. Gosling, R. Vogelsang, A. Bahr, E.M.L. Scerri, A. Asrat, A.S. Cohen, W. Düsing, V. Foerster, H.F. Lamb, M.A. Maslin, H.M. Roberts, F. Schäbitz, M.H. Trauth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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. © 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2018277118
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.K.-B. received funding from an Open Topic Postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Potsdam and acknowledges funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through Grant KA 4757/3-1. Support for Chew Bahir drilling was provided by DFG through the Priority Program SPP 1006 International Continental Drilling Program, as well as through NSF Grant NSF-EAR1338553 to A.S.C. F.S. acknowledges further funding from the DFG through Grants SCHA 472/13 and SCHA 472/18. M.H.T. acknowledges funding from the DFG through Grants TR 419/8, TR 419/10, and TR 419/16. In addition, F.S. acknowledges funding from the Collaborative Research Centre 806 Research Project ?Our way to Europe?-Project Number 57444011. H.F.L. and H.M.R. were funded by Grant NE/K014560/1 from the UK Natural Environment Research Council. This is publication No. 36 of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. All data used in the analysis are available through their respective references. The results of the pwPCA is appended as supporting information.

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. S.K.-B. received funding from an Open Topic Postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Potsdam and acknowledges funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through Grant KA 4757/3-1. Support for Chew Bahir drilling was provided by DFG through the Priority Program SPP 1006 International Continental Drilling Program, as well as through NSF Grant NSF-EAR1338553 to A.S.C. F.S. acknowledges further funding from the DFG through Grants SCHA 472/13 and SCHA 472/18. M.H.T. acknowledges funding from the DFG through Grants TR 419/8, TR 419/10, and TR 419/16. In addition, F.S. acknowledges funding from the Collaborative Research Centre 806 Research Project “Our way to Europe”—Project Number 57444011. H.F.L. and H.M.R. were funded by Grant NE/K014560/1 from the UK Natural Environment Research Council. This is publication No. 36 of the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. All data used in the analysis are available through their respective references. The results of the pwPCA is appended as supporting information.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • African paleoclimate
  • Hominin evolution
  • Orbital forcing
  • Walker and Hadley circulation

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • GLAD6
  • GLAD7
  • HSPDP-CHB
  • HSPDP-MAG

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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