Climate and the Migration of Early Modern Humans: A Modelling Perspective

By:
Prof. Andrew J. Weaver
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Theories of human and cultural evolution, and human migration, frequently invoke climate change as a determinant; yet evidence that quantifies how climate impacted the human condition is often lacking. In this talk I address how climate models might be used to further our understanding in these areas. I will focus on recent work we have conducted using the UVic Earth System Climate Model (ESCM). This model consists of an ocean GCM coupled to a thermodynamic/dynamic sea ice model, an ocean carbon cycle model, a dynamic energy-moisture balance atmosphere model, a thermomechanical ice sheet model, a land surface model and a terrestrial dynamic vegetation and carbon cycle model. Four specific examples will be addressed: the first concerns an assessment of possible ocean routes during Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum climates that could be used to reach the Americas. The second concerns an examination of the Clovis-first hypothesis using hookworm information, paleoclimate data and climate model simulations. The third reexamines the potential role of drift voyages in the discovery of new island groups in western Oceania. I conclude with a discussion as to how abrupt climate change associated with Heinrich Events, which occurred episodically during the last glacial cycle, might have compelled early Homo sapiens to migrate out of Africa.


Keywords: Climate Modelling, Clovis, Peopling of the Americas, Peopling of Oceania, Human Migration
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Andrew J. Weaver

Professor and Canada Research Chair, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria
Victoria, BC, Canada

Dr. Andrew Weaver is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria (UVic). He joined UVic in 1992 having spent three years as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) University Research Fellow in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University. He has written over 160 peer reviewed papers in climate, meteorology, oceanography, earth science, policy, anthropology and education journals. He was involved as a Lead Author in the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2nd, 3rd and 4th scientific assessments. Dr. Weaver is presently the Chief Editor of the Journal of Climate. He has served on numerous other national and international committees over the last decade. In 1997, he was awarded an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, in 2001 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2002 he received a Killam Research Fellowship and a CIAR Young Explorers award as one of the top 20 scientists in Canada under the age of 40. In 2005 he received the University of Victoria Craigdarroch Silver Medal for Excellence in Research. In 2006 he received awards of recognition from the BC School Superintendent's Association and the Greater Victoria School District for his weather station in schools project, as well as a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Victoria.

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