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Clues from analysis of fish bones supports theory of climate shift 5000 years ago, onset of El Nio

tion, temperatures were also about three to four degrees warmer than they are today.

"A change in El Nio frequency and the related increase in upwelling about 5000 years ago may be related to changes in fishing resources and increased cultural complexity," said Reitz.

These results are also consistent with a theory posed by Sandweiss and his colleagues in a paper in Geology in 2001. That paper suggested that cultural changes such as the construction of cities and large monuments may have been related to the onset of El Nio 5000 years ago and later to changes in its frequency and intensity.

"Our research shows that the current El Nio cycle is significantly different from what it was five to eight thousand years ago," said Andrus. "Our hope is that our data can be used to build accurate predictive models of future El Nio events.


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Contact: Phil Williams
phil@franklin.uga.edu
706-542-8501
University of Georgia
21-Feb-2002


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