PGK Christmas Lecture and Buffet Dinner

Join us for the Christmas Lecture "Prehistoric humankind adapted to changing sea-levels, so why can’t we?" by Salomon Kroonenberg followed by the Christmas buffet dinner and party at Luden.

Program: 20th December 2017

                  17:00 - 18:00: Social hour (at KIVI)
                  18:00 - 19:00: Christmas lecture Salomon Kroonenberg
                  19:00 - 23:00: Christmas Buffet Dinner (at Luden).

KIVI, Prinsessegracht 23, 2514 AP Den Haag
Luden, Plein 6-7, 2511 CR Den Haag

Please note that this is a paid event. If you wish to attend the buffet dinner at Luden the cost, including dinner and drinks is €15.

Prehistoric humankind adapted to changing sea-levels, so why can’t we?
Salomon Kroonenberg

About 120,000 years ago, the surface of the sea was six metres above where it is now. When Neanderthal people on the Channel island of Jersey discovered that the source of flint for their stone implements became flooded, they turned to quartz, and when sea level dropped again they returned to flint, because it was better raw material.

The staple food of South African Homo sapiens during the Eemian highstand was black mussels, a species that lives clinging to the rocks in the surf. When sea level dropped and the rocks fell dry, they changed to white mussels, a species that lives in the beach sand under the waterline. If our ancestors over 100,000 years ago could adapt their staple food and mineral resources to changing sea levels, why wouldn’t we be able to do so?

During the coldest part of the last Ice Age, 20,000 years ago, people lived on the dry bottom of the North Sea. When sea level started to rise in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, they adapted by steadfastly moving their dwellings landwards -  probably except those living on Doggerland, which might have drowned indeed.  

Over the last six thousand years, sea level has been relatively stable, and global tide gauges do not show any acceleration in sea level rise since the end of the 19th century up to the present day: global sea-level rises at ~20 cm per century. Alpine, Alaskan and Arctic glaciers are still longer than they were in Roman and Mediaeval times, showing that their present retreat is still within the range of natural processes. There is nothing ‘unprecedented’ in sea-level rise so far. Considering how inventive our ancestors were at adapting to sea-level changes with the paltry means at their disposal, we should not worry about our ability to do so in the future.

December 20th, 2017 5:00 PM   through   11:00 PM
PGK Christmas Party € 15.00