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Rainforest Disappears

1 March 2018

Gary sent in this one. Go to https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/02/did-humans-or-climate-cause-the-… … this is just up the street for catastrophists so have a little read up on what is being implied. The central African rainforest vanished for a period of around 600 years – and then bounced back again. Why? A new study claims humans caused a rainforest crisis as a result of migrating southwards from northern Africa (presumably what is now the Sudan) 3000 years ago. At this time old tree rainforest disappeared from central Africa and was transformed into an open savannah environment dotted with stands of trees. 600 years later the rainforest returned – and the savannah disappeared. Earlier research siad that a change in climate and rainfall levels were to blame. New research says there was no reduction in rainfall but a migration into the area brought in millet production, iron working, and palm oil production. This very much sounds like the 'blame humans' culture so favoured by environmentalists of a Green bent of mind. The problem the evidence both sides use is derived from lake sediment cores – one side favoured Lake Victoria (where there is evidence the lake levels declined at the time) and the other did their research at a lake in the Cameroons (many miles distant). Also, although the date 3000 years ago is touted in the headline it doesn't appear to be important when you explore further. My first thought was to make a connection with events at the end of the LB era which brought New Kingdom to a close but it would seem a date a few centuries later might be more pertinent as there is plenty of evidence that climate in NW Europe was cold and wet at this time. This usually means a preponderance of La Nina like conditions and in Africa they appear to correspond with droughts (as implied by the Lake Victoria research). In effect, climate is one of the probable causes – but not necessarily the prime cause. Bantu origins are usually placed in West Africa – but in this study they claim they moved south from northern Africa (which can only be the Sudan, or perhaps what was known as Nubia). Northern Africa is separated from central Africa by the Sahara desert – and the rolling savannah of the Sudan zone (which separates the desert from the tropics in a belt from the Atlantic to the Red Sea). Did people migrate as a result of the desert expanding – and then return once the green savannah zone moved back north? The study does not say why the rainforest returned – or what happened to the humans that are blamed for creating the savannah landscape. This is a weakness in their argument.

The proposed migration also coincides with the period where Velikovsky chose to locate his Mars events – a series of catastrophic events caused by a passing cosmic body. Not much evidence of that is forthcoming but we do have several anomalous tree ring episodes (not necessarily low growth). We also know from documents from the Bible to Assyrian annals that the era of Elijah and Elisha involved the passing by of Yahweh followed by drought and famine. Outbreaks of famine are also recorded by the Assyrians during the late 9th and the first half of the 8th century – and possibly even as late as 640BC. Hence, there may have been sound reasons for people to up sticks and move – in the hope of finding a better environment to settle back down again. Migration is a theme of history – sometimes involving long distances. Climate could be the agent that set people on the move – but so could landscape fires as a result of meteoric phenomena (creating heat through blast). Some useful information would be available in the various studies (from 2017 as well as 2018).

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