HUMANPAST.NET

Environment                  100,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

In General

 ...the story begins long before, back at the beginning of the last glacial cycle, 120,000 years ago when the Earth's climate and the level of the seas was about the same as today. From that point in time and for the next 100,000 years waters evaporated from the oceans and, transported by the winds, fell as snow on the near Arctic regions, gradually accreting and compressing into sheets of ice that were in some places up to two miles thick. Twenty thousand years ago at the zenith of this accumulation so much water had been withdrawn from the oceans that sea level was four hundred feet lower than today. Massive glaciers covered the entire northern half of North America, all of Scandinavia and northern Europe, and the northern edge of Eurasia. All the high mountains of Europe, Asia, North America, and South America were sheeted with ice down to their lowermost valleys. (131)

I have reviewed the evidence for three displacements of the earth's crust during the last 110,000 years. They seem to have occurred at intervals of 30,000 to 40,000 years. There are indications that they may have occurred at this rate through much of the Pleistocene Epoch. From the evidence we now have it seems futile to try to determine the locations of the poles in the more remote cases. With every step backward in time the evidence naturally becomes thinner. (132)

 

It appears that, in round figures, the poles remain stationary for periods of about 30,000 years, then move around for 6,000 years, then again stay put for 30,000 years, and so on. Scientists have established that the last four rounds of the poles started 120,000 years ago when the North Pole installed itself in the territory of Yukon in Canada at 63 Nand 135 W; then it went to the Greenland Sea at 72 N and 10 E about 84,000 years ago, moved from 54,000 until 48,000 years ago and settled in the middle of Hudson Bay at 60 N and 83 W; it rested there for 30,000 years; then wandered again from about 18,000 to about 12,000 years ago when it came to its present location. Simultaneously the South Pole went through similar gyrations but in the opposite direction. We have to note that its three previous locations were in their turn in the southern part of the Indian Ocean between Australia and the Antarctic itself. Only the last movement 12,000 years ago brought the South Pole to the middle of the great continent of Antarctica.(141)

Naturally, not all ancient cultural sites are on these lines of the equator of the last 100,000 years. But it is significant that we find there the most mysterious ones like Angkor, Nan Madol, Tiahuanaco, Nasca, Cuenca, Machu Picchu, and Easter Island. (141)

What is now clear is that during the last ice age, and the period that followed it, the climate was much more chaotic than it has been in recent millennia. Generally, the climate was much more variable. Sudden changes occurred from time to time. Collapse of parts of the ice sheets, or release of meltwater lakes that built up behind the ice, led to cataclysmic changes. Armadas of icebergs or floods of icy freshwater swept out into the North Atlantic altering the circulation of the ocean at a stroke and with it the climate of the neighbouring continents. With a flick of the climatic switch, Europe and much of North America could be plunged back into icy conditions, having only just emerged from the abyss of the preceding millennia. Conversely, the stability of the glacial conditions could be interrupted by a re-establishment of the flow of warm water to higher latitudes in the North Atlantic, bringing surprising temporary warmth to the northern continents. (145)

Changes in the sea level during the last 100 kyr. (145)

During the last interglacial, which ran from about 130 to 117 kya, global temperatures were for much of the time some 2C warmer than current values. Around 124 kya hippopotamus and other tropical fauna roamed the landscape of the British Isles. (145)

Africa

There is increasing evidence that a series of climate changes caused the expanse of desert conditions in the South African interior, areas known today as the Kalahari and the Karoo. This would have forced the dispersal of populations of archaic Homo sapiens, who occupied this landscape about 300,000 years ago. Those that moved southward and westward soon found themselves trapped by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the Namib Desert to the north, and the Kalahari and Karoo deserts they'd left behind. Over tens of thousands of years, these populations would have eked out an existence on the western and southern Cape coastal plains, forced by the low nutritional value of the plant life to depend increasingly on marine resources for survival. It is no coincidence that the world's first evidence that humans fed on marine life is to be found along this coastline, where shellfish middens date back over 100,000 years before present. (142)

Southwest Asia

 

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 During the last interglacial, which ran from about 130 to 117 kya, global temperatures were for much of the time some 2°C warmer than current values. Around 124 kya hippopotamus and other tropical fauna roamed the landscape of the British Isles. (145)

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

Several lines of solid evidence suggest that during the last ice age the North Pole was located in or near Hudson Bay. ...the best guess for the site of the pole seems to be approximately 60 degrees North Latitude and 83 degrees West Longitude. The first line of evidence that the last North American ice cap was a polar ice cap is based on the shape, size, and peculiar geographical location of the ice sheet. (132)

Other