Climate change already wiped out the human race — in prehistoric times
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Many environmental advocates believe climate change is the greatest threat facing the human race today. As fears of a mass extinction event grow, a new study finds it’s already happened, at least in prehistoric times. Researchers say early humans met extinction at the hands of dramatic shifts in their environment, just like Earth is facing now.
An international team of scientists finds Homo sapiens (present day humans) are the only group of intelligent primates left standing. A study of climate models and fossil records spanning the last five million years reveals what killed at least six different species of early humans on Earth. The results show our distant ancestors could not adapt to dramatic warming and cooling temperatures — better known as climate change.
“Our findings show that despite technological innovations including the use of fire and refined stone tools, the formation of complex social networks, and–in the case of Neanderthals–even the production of glued spear points, fitted clothes, and a good amount of cultural and genetic exchange with Homo sapiens, past Homo species could not survive intense climate change,” says Pasquale Raia from the University of Naples Federico II in a media release.
“They tried hard; they made for the warmest places in reach as the climate got cold, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t enough.”
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