News Release 

Paleoclimate of the Middle East

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

A study finds that although the current climate of the Middle East region is marked by dry summers and wet winters, carbonate minerals preserved in Soreq Cave in Israel display evidence that the summer monsoon periodically extended into Israel during the last interglacial period and, combined with wetter winters than those at present, delivered elevated precipitation to the region; the temporal signals of monsoon incursion overlap with archaeological indicators of human migration out of Africa, suggesting that paleoclimate may have influenced early human movement in the Middle East.

Article #19-03139: "Resolving seasonal rainfall changes in the Middle East during the last interglacial period," by Ian J. Orland et al.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ian J. Orland, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI; tel: 814-880-7584; e-mail:


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