Knowledge of past climate variability based on the study of paleoclimate archives may help in better understanding the forcing mechanisms and extent of any future climate change. In some regions, such as Eastern Europe, loess-paleosol sequences (LPS) are one of the most important terrestrial archives of Quaternary paleoclimate and its spatial and temporal dynamics.
Around the end of last year, we returned from our 12-month fieldwork assignments in Kenya and Namibia, where we conducted historical and anthropological research among groups that are either currently hunter-gatherers, or were recently so.
Bernhard Buhs is a PhD student in the D1 Project – Analysis of Migration Processes due to Environmental Conditions between 40.000 and 14.000 a B.P. in the Rhine-Meuse Area.
The Altmuehlian of Southern Germany is a Middle Palaeolithic archaeological industry that contain knapped-stone leaf point artifacts. These industries are commonly dated to the end of the Middle Paleolithic and are regularly invoked in discussions concerning the disappearance of Neanderthals and appearance of Homo sapiens at about 40.000 B.P.
Arid regions are highly vulnerable with respect to environmental and particularly hydrological changes. Data scarcity for most of these areas (such as Egypt and the most of Middle East) is a great challenge for hydrogeological investigation at practical scales. Moreover, climate change will exacerbate groundwater-related problems by reduction in recharge rates in some areas, increased reliance on groundwater resources due to decrease in the reliability of surface-water sources, saltwater intrusion due to sea-level rise, and deterioration of groundwater quality by increased flushing of urban and agricultural wastes.
Erik J. Schaffernicht is a PhD candidate in meteorology at the Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology of the University of Cologne, Germany.
He is member of the project Palaeoclimate and Palaeoenvironmental Reconstructions Using a Computational Regional Environmental Modelling System (Project E6) of the Collaborative Research Centre 806 (CRC806), Our Way to Europe.
The Chew Bahir basin is located in southern Ethiopia. It is a tectonic graben, which is part of the East African Rift System (EARS). Its position close to the Omo Valley, which is considered to be the source region of the anatomically modern human (AMH), makes it an interesting target for interdisciplinary research.
Many archaeologists associate the appearance of Homo sapiens and modern behavior with the Middle Stone Age of Africa. Over the years numerous models have been developed to explain how and why modern humans left Africa and dispersed throughout the world. The majority of these models are based on skeletal and genetic data as well as climatic data, while paradoxically very few incorporate archaeological data.
11,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Holocene, today’s hyper-arid Sahara desert was dotted with large and small lakes, savannah and grassland and in some regions even humid tropical forest. Due to a strengthened African monsoon triggered by strong orbital forcing i.e. summer insolation, more humid conditions compared to today, prevailed in Northern and Central Africa.
I am a member of the CRC 806 in project B3 as research assistant since 2011. Since September 2013 I am working on my PhD (funded by the German National Academic Foundation), in which I am analyzing changes of fossil diatom communities during the Holocene in sediment cores from Lake Kinneret (Israel; Southeastern Mediterranean) and Laguna de Medina (Spain, Western Mediterranean).