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25 Oct 2010

Unlocking the Secrets of Climate Change and Migration


Articles

25 Oct 2010

Unlocking the Secrets of Climate Change and Migration

Professor Adrian Parker, Oxford, UK, talks about his research and how Thomson euters !"#$ %eb of Knowled&e and Thomson euters 'nd(ote) su**ort his work+ ,- s*eciali.e in lon&/term climate chan&e c0cles and their effect on human mi&ration, s*ecificall0 lookin& at the #iddle 'ast+ #0 research is based around the *atterns of chan&e o1er the last two million 0ears and how that has affected (orth Africa and Arabia, chan&in& it from 1er0 wet en1ironment to the arid landsca*e we know toda0+ To disco1er and *roduce an accurate timescale - focus on datin& the landsca*es, lookin& for chan&es between aridit0 and wetness and tr0in& to reconstruct what the climate was like+

The 1ast tracts of &eolo&ical time act like a *um*+ %hen the *um* is on, the tro*ics mi&rate north and the monsoons associated with Africa and the -ndian Ocean mi&rate the same wa0 into Arabia+

Once landsca*e becomes 1erdant, fertile and able to sustain life / humans naturall0 follow+ %hen *o*ulations start to mo1e we can trace their 2ourne0s o1er thousands of 0ears until we reach where we are toda0+ #0 focus is the route the0 took+ 3id the0 &o north4 3id the0 cross the "ahara5 the ed "ea and into the 6e1ant, then -srael and into 'uro*e4 Or did the0 &o across the ed "ea and into Arabia, dis*erse across Arabia into Asia and then down throu&h the 7ar 'ast and into Australasia4 Althou&h we are lookin& at the landsca*e toda0, it is m0 belief that this historical data will hel* e1idence that &lobal climate is not static and that lar&e/scale en1ironmental chan&es ha1e taken *lace and will a&ain+ - stron&l0 belie1e we need to be better custodians of our *lanet but &lobal climate chan&e is not solel0 caused b0 humans and anthro*o&enic means+ There are lon&/term natural c0cles that tell us the 'arth8s climate is d0namic+ As such it is extremel0 com*lex, and unfortunatel0 man0 of the models that *eo*le use to *ro2ect the future can8t take into account all of the 1ariables+ - want to use an insi&ht into what has ha**ened in the *ast to inform us about how we can *re*are for the future+ The ke0 *roduct - use is %eb of Knowled&e+ This is a 1er0 &ood wa0 to track *ublications and anal0.e what is bein& cited re&ularl0 and all this is ha1in& a dee* im*act on m0 *articular sub2ect area+ -t8s a flexible tool+ -t8s 1er0 user friendl0, and at the click of a button, 0ou &et the information that 0ou want ra*idl0+ -t is eas0 to use and functional+ - can also format m0 *a*er8s references 1er0 9uickl0 usin& 'nd(ote+ -t flows easil0 from the %eb of Knowled&e and sa1es me hours+,