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May 14, 2005

The great squeezes

Check out this grap of the temperature changes over the past 40,000 years extrapolated from Greenland ice cores (click for larger images):

Or this from the Antarctic for the past 450,000 years:

We have lived in charmed millennia...imagine how difficult it must have been for Eurasian populations of homonids to react to these climatic changes. One hypothesis I offered about the cause of homogenous Eurasian genetic markers is that there have been many population bottlenecks induced by climate change. On an unrelated note some researchers have suggested that the preternatural stability of temperature regimes over the past 10,000 years is the result of agriculture and domestication of animals (cattle produce a large percentage of the world's methane output). How's that for "extended phenotype."

Posted by razib at 03:03 PM