Want to Survive Climate Change? Start Building Your Social Networks.

Apr 23, 2018

Credit pbslearningmedia.org

Forty thousand years ago, a massive volcanic eruption in southern Italy devastated what today is Europe. And yet, the culture of the early humans who lived there persisted. Now, archeologists say the key was long-distance trade and social networking.

And Julien Riel-Salvatore, an associate professor of anthropology at University of Montreal, says that could be an important message for modern humans facing the challenges of climate change.

"What we see is that previously when Neanderthals were confronted with periods of dramatic climatic change, they appear to have gone extinct or completely abandon the region, modern humans were able to stick it out somehow," Riel-Salvatore said. "And we think that that's probably linked to the fact that modern humans maintained these networks with a group... a few hundred kilometers away."