John Kutzbach and Feng He published in PNAS documenting how changes in Earth’s orbit, greenhouse gases, and ice sheets could have influenced the migration of early humans out of Africa.

With the state-of-the-art computer modeling of the changing climate/vegetation from 140,000 years ago to the present for Africa, Arabia, and the Mediterranean Basin, the study explains when and where the climate was wetter or drier and how the vegetation changed. The simulated environmental changes agree with observed paleoenvironmental data in most areas. The results will help assess whether and how climate, hydrology, and vegetation changes may have influenced human dispersal out of Africa.

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