Humans survived abrupt climate change 11,000 years ago

Updated 2018-03-28 14:18:02 Xinhua

Prehistoric people who once inhabited in northern England survived a century-long drop in temperature about 11,000 years ago, according to a new study in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday.

New investigations of those prehistoric people, who once inhabited the Mesolithic site of Star Carr in England's north, showed they had experienced a sharp temperature drop to as much as 10 degrees Celsius in the space of a decade.

The researchers expected this abrupt climate change to have a huge impact on the lives of the Star Carr population, but they miraculously survived.

"The results show that occupation and activity at the site persisted regardless of the environmental stresses experienced by this society. The Star Carr population displayed a high level of resilience to climate change..." according to the research paper.

For people living in the Middle Stone Age, sudden and harsh climate changes could mean life and death, and often forced whole populations to move in order to survive.

"These hunter-gatherers had a lot of skills and knowledge of how to use the natural resources. They could make shelters and houses and hunt, fish and collect plant materials," Ian Candy, study author and professor of geography at the Royal Holloway University of London's Center for Quaternary Research, told CNN.

"It must have been a lot colder and harsher conditions to live in but they had structures and used fires to keep warm, and seem to have had access to animals such as red deer," he said.

The researchers said a past response to climate change could hold key insights for the present day.

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