To better quantify the impact of climate variability on human evolutionary transitions, the ICCP has conducted an unprecedent super-long transient climate model simulation, covering the global climate history of the past 2 million years ago (“2Ma”). This simulation is based on the Community Earth System Model version 1.2 (CESM1.2) in 3.75°×3.75° horizontal resolution forced with the Northern hemispheric ice sheet distribution and CO2 concentration and astronomical insolation changes. We combined a transient Pleistocene climate model simulation with an extensive compilation of hominin fossils and archaeological artefacts to study the environmental context of hominin evolution. The climate envelope model, based on a 4-dimensional Mahalanobis metric, stratifies the data entries into spatiotemporally delimited groups for early African hominins (Homo habilis and Homo ergaster combined as one group, Eurasian Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens, separately).
Related publications: Climate effects on archaic human habitats and species successions, Timmermann, K.-S. Yun, P. Raia, J. Ruan, E. Zeller, C. Zollikofer, M. P. de León, D. Lemmon, M. Willeit, A. Ganopolski, Nature, doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04600-9 (2022).