Humans as agents in the termination of the African humid period

There is great uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the termination of the African Humid Period (AHP). Spanning from the early to middle Holocene, the AHP was a period of enhanced moisture over most of northern and eastern Africa. However, beginning 8000 years ago the moisture balance shifted due to changing orbital precession and vegetation feedbacks. Some proxy records indicate a rapid transition from wet to dry conditions, while others indicate a more gradual changeover. Heretofore, humans have been viewed as passive agents in the termination of the AHP, responding to changing climatic conditions by adopting animal husbandry and spreading an agricultural lifestyle across the African continent.

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