Academy of Finland  
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Seppä, Heikki Tapani
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title Green Sahara: a cross-disciplinary approach to modelling climate and human distribution (GRASS)
Decision No. 316702
Decision date 18.06.2018
Funding period 01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022
Funding 322 068
Project description
The African wet-dry cycles are dramatic climate changes. During the wet phases, precipitation has been high in the modern Saharan desert and the savanna vegetation has expanded towards the centre of the desert. Such wet periods may have decisively affected the migration of modern humans from Africa to Eurasia. A number of wet periods have occurred over the last roughly 100 000 years, last time 15-5 thousand years ago. It is generally assumed that the main reason for them are the changes in the orbit and axis tilt of the Earth, invigorating the African summer monsoon. The purpose of the GRASS project is to develop more realistic climate model simulations of the wet periods by accouting for the influence of atmopheric dust and aerosols in the simulations. The new simlations of the past wet periods will be used for simulating the distribution and density of human population during the wet periods. This will provide new insights to the distribution and potential dispersal of humans