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Posted on Sunday, April 27 - 2008

Submitted by Stance: It was a very close call. If a devastating drought that gripped Africa had lasted just a little longer, or been a little worse, we would not be here today. There would be no humans, no cities, no art and no science. There would be no wars and no human-induced climate change. The world would belong to the animals. An international genetics project has found that modern humans almost became extinct 70,000 years ago. The Genographic Project, led by American and Israeli researchers, made the discovery after undertaking the most extensive mitochondrial DNA survey ever undertaken in Africa. In 1987 a study of mitochondrial DNA, passed down the generations via the maternalline, revealed that every person alive today is descended from one woman who lived in Africa 200,000 years ago.

The latest study shows that after the birth of humanity in eastern Africa, people quickly split into separate communities. About 150,000 years ago humans, possibly pursuing animal herds, moved to settle throughout Africa. The number of people soared, peaking somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000. But before the first person could venture out of Africa, the population suddenly crashed to just 2000. "It could have been even fewer," said Spencer Wells, the Genographic Project director. "We were, in effect, hanging on by our fingertips. "That"s fewer people than there are Sumatra orang-utans today, and they are classified as extremely endangered and will probably go extinct in 20 years." Thecrisis was probably caused by climate change. About 130,000 years ago the world started cooling and drying as it neared another ice age. "There were massive droughts in Africa ... mega-droughts," Dr Wells said. With much of the continent barren and hostile, the tiny human settlements became isolated from each other. As humanity hovered on the edge of extinction "a shift in culture began. People began making the better hunting tools they needed to survive the drought. Art makes its appearance.

View: Full Article | Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Views : 8438
[ Read More ] Reference : Evolution, Armageddon

Posted on Tuesday, August 27 - 2013

Sea ice continues to melt at a rapid pace.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 NASA Goddard

A leaked report from the IPCC has painted a grim picture of the future implications of climate change. Comprised of several hundred international scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been conducting detailedresearch that is due to be included in the next United Nations report on global warming.Their findings indicate that human activities are indeed behind the temperature rises observed over the last few decades and that sea levels are likely to rise by up to three feet by the end of the century if nothing is done to bring down harmful greenhouse gas emissions."It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010," the report stated."There ishigh confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level and changed some climate extremes in the second half of the 20th century."If these predictions turn out to be true then the rising sea levels could hold disastrous consequences for high population low-lying cities in countries all over the world.

Source: NY DailyNews.

Views : 700
[ Read More ] Reference : Nature, Armageddon

Posted on Sunday, August 04 - 2013

A rise in global temperatures could have more than just an environmental effect on the world we live in.The threat of climate change usually brings with it predictions of widespread flooding, droughts and food shortages, but perhaps one of the less understood consequences of rising temperatures is the threat of an increase in armed conflicts. Recent studies have uncovered correlations between climacticfactors and violence throughout history, indicating that a changing climate can lead to a far greater risk of wars and violence.Even now, cities experiencing excess spells of hot weather are seeing an increase in violent crime, possibly due to the physiological stress response to heat.

If temperatures were to rise significantly on a long-term basis then many parts of the world could see far greater problems in these areas than we see today. "Climate change isn’t just affecting the natural world."  

View: Full article |  Source: Smithsonian  

Views : 650
[ Read More ] Reference : Nature, Armageddon

Posted on Tuesday, July 23 - 2013

Scientists at the Met Office claim that global warming is on pause but that it will soon speed up again.While figures suggest that average global temperatures have not risen at all in the last 15 years, new reports have emerged claiming that this is likely to change within as little as 5 years. Far from playing down the significance of global warming, the research has indicated that temperature rises have simply been delayed because the world"soceans have been absorbing a lot of the heat."Global surface temperatures remain high," said the Met Office"s Dr Peter Stott.

"Twelve of the 14 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, the lower troposphere – the atmosphere above the surface – is continuing to warm in recent years, and combined with the cooling in the stratosphere this is a distinctive fingerprint of the effects of greenhouse gases on the climate system." "Surface temperatures around the world have not increased onaverage since the late 1990s, causing some sceptics to suggest that climate change is not happening as quickly as experts predict."  

View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph  

Views : 504

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