[Eoas-seminar] EOAS Colloquium - Dr. Tom Johnson - Friday, March 25th at 3:30 pm

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Fri Mar 18 14:08:19 EDT 2016


EOAS COLLOQUIUM
FRIDAY, MARCH 25
3:30 p.m. Room 101 Carraway

The Mid-Pleistocene Transition in Southern East Africa: Potential Impact on Early Human Migration

Tom Johnson, Large Lakes Observatory, University of Minnesota Duluth
(now at the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

The driving force behind the evolution of our species in Africa is not clearly identified, but is often linked to a changing climate, characterized by progressively drier conditions over the past few million years, and increased variability as the amplitude of glacial - interglacial change intensified on a ~100,000-year (eccentricity) cycle while maintaining a pronounced 20,000-year (precession) beat.  But this climate history may not be true for all of Africa. The Lake Malawi Drilling Project (10º - 14º South Latitude in East Africa) produced a 1.3 million year climate history that displays strong 100 ky (eccentricity) cycles of temperature and rainfall following the Mid-Pleistocene Transition around 900,000 years ago, with no evidence for precessional variability. Interglacial periods were relatively warm and moist, while ice ages were cool and dry. Climate in this sector of East Africa (unlike North Africa) evolved from a predominantly arid environment with high frequency variability to conditions that were often wetter, precisely opposite the trend attributed to human evolution.

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Please Join the Speaker for Refreshments
starting at 3 p.m.




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