Lactose tolerance in Africa

19 Sep 2012

EM Smith is catching up on the discovery that cattle herders and pastoralists in the green Sahara, prior to 4000BC, led to lactose tolerance - thereby mirroring what happened in Europe at about the same point in time. Consuming dairy products led to lactose tolerance, a boon to people in the cool climate of northern Europe when crops were in short supply in winter months, but equally a boon to people in the Sahara, where it became extremely arid in the subsequent period following the Mid Holocene Warm Period. The link is the consumption of dairy products and the propensity of the body to accommodate what at first it might reject - in this case, milk from cows (see links to various articles at http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/low-no-ice-arctic-5000-bc/

EM Smith combines this into a post on the discovery (also with links to other articles) that claims there was no sea ice in the Arctic in the Mid Holocene Warm Period, or roughly 6000-3000BC, which came about as a result of a debate between sceptics and AGW adherents at http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/17/reflections-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-mini... ... which came about as a result of the break up of very thin ice during a recent storm in the Arctic Ocean bowl, leading to conflicting interpretations and a lot of hype. The post attracted so many comments, by knowledgeable as well as not so knowledgeable people that she had to create a second post on the same subject in order to accommodate them all on the Wordpress server. So, be prepared for a big read as you need plenty of time to wade through it all. If not, as most people I guess, you will skim through the comments, simply scanning in the ones that appear attractive. Hence, you will get a biased view of what has been said as you will of course be attracted to those that are close to your own way of thinking. Therefore, by skimming the comments you will simply reinforce your own prejudice, sceptic or AGW. It pays to persevere and read more than you want of the comments as the very thin ice is against all expectations at the beginning of the year on the sceptic side. They thought the ice would start to thicken as the Earth further entered into the cooling phase dominated by La Ninas rather than the El Nino warm water dissipators. It's not all over yet - and never is.