Video Micro-lecture: Climate Change and Human Evolution

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A video lecture by Raghu Murtugudde​, University of Maryland, on the impacts of climate change on human evolution and early civilizations. This video lecture is part 1 of a 3-part lecture series titled ‘Climate Change on Historic Timescales’ of a MOOC. This  MOOC is titled ‘Climate Change’ and has been developed by the National Resource Centre on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.

Students will learn how climate change possibly impacted speciation, bipedalism, evolution of brain size, cultural evolution and the appearance and disappearance of certain ancient civilizations. They will also learn about the impact of various glacial and interglacial periods, East-African aridification, and changes in sea surface temperature and rainfall on human evolution and history during the Pleistocene. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How has climate change potentially impacted our evolution from apes to Homo sapiens?
  2. Explain the relationship between plate tectonics, El Nino patterns and human evolution.
  3. Discuss examples of species extinction by early human in Africa and Australia. 

About the Tool

Tool NameW04 C03 P05 L01 Climate Change on Historical Timescales Lecture 01
DisciplineBiological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, Social Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineHuman Evolution, Anthropology, Human History, Early Civilizations, Bipedalism,  East-African Aridification
Climate TopicClimate and the Anthroposphere, Climate and Biosphere, Climate Variability Record
Type of toolVideo (42 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
Developed byNational Resource Centre (NRC) on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India
Hosted atIISER Pune Channel on YouTube
Computer SkillsBasic