EGU22-6682, updated on 16 Nov 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Simulating Pleistocene climate effect on archaic human interbreeding

Jiaoyang Ruan1,2, Axel Timmermann1,2, Kyung-Sook Yun1,2, Elke Zeller1,2, and Danielle Lemmon1,2
Jiaoyang Ruan et al.
  • 1Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Busan, South Korea
  • 2Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea

Genomic data document multiple episodes of interbreeding among Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens. When, where and how often the interbreeding between these hominin populations took place remains unclear. Here, we study the Neanderthal-Denisovan admixture during the past 400 thousand years using a novel habitat model that integrates extensive fossil, archeological, and genetic data with unprecedented transient Coupled General Circulation Model simulations of global climate and vegetation. Our Pleistocene hindcast of habitat suitability reveals pronounced climate-driven zonal shifts in the main overlap region of Denisovans and Neanderthals in central Eurasia. These shifts, which influenced timing and intensity of potential interbreeding events, can be attributed to the response of climate and vegetation to past variations in atmospheric CO2 and northern hemisphere ice-sheet volume. Therefore glacial/interglacial climate swings likely played an important role in archaic human gene flow and genetic diversification.

How to cite: Ruan, J., Timmermann, A., Yun, K.-S., Zeller, E., and Lemmon, D.: Simulating Pleistocene climate effect on archaic human interbreeding, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6682,, 2022.