Human Evolution & Climate
Climate continues to change all over the world. How will that impact humans living all over the world? Like other organisms found all over the world we will have to adapt and adjust. The following video was created by a professor at Yale about the climate's influence on human evolution.
In an article by Stewart & Stringer (2012) they look at human evolution in the early history of humans and how their migration and growth have been effected by the climate in which they lived. The reason for this study was to try to find a way to identify why individuals or groups of people moved to certain areas.
A refugium is defined by Merriam-Webster (2013) as, " an area of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during a period of continental climatic change (as a glaciation) and remains as a center of relict forms from which a new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment".
Two examples of this process as stated in the article is the western and eastern hedgehog found in Europe. Another example is the polar bear, which occured during a speration within the species of brown bear.
Climate Change Over Time
Earth's history has been marked with dramatic climate change that shaped the landscape over and over again. We are currently coming out of an ice age period that ended 10,000 years ago. Here is a picture that shows temperature has fluctuated over the past 4.5 billion years.
Gloabl Warming and The Future
Stewart, J. & Stringer, C. (2012). Human evolution out of Africa: The role of refugia and climate change. Science (New York, N.Y.) 335(6074), 1317-1321.
Merriam-Webster. (2013). Refugia. Retrieved from http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugia