Climate change likely played a major role in driving early human species to extinction, according to a modelling study published on Friday which researchers said serves a “thunderous warning message” to humans today.
Of the six or more different species of early humans, all belonging to the genus Homo, only Homo sapiens have managed to survive.
The study, published in the journal One Earth, combined climate modelling and fossil record to search for clues to what led to all those earlier extinctions of our ancient ancestors.
“Our findings show that… Past Homo species could not survive intense climate change,” said Pasquale Raia of Universita di Napoli Federico II in Italy.
This is despite technological innovations including the use of fire and refined stone tools, the formation of complex social networks, and — in the case of Neanderthals — the production of glued spear points, fitted clothes, and a good amount of cultural and genetic exchange with Homo sapiens, Raia explained.