The real-life inspiration for the biblical flood may have been responsible for the widespread adoption of agriculture in Europe, according to a new study. About 8,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, ice sheets melted, causing massive flooding in the Black Sea basin. That forced farmers to disperse, and they migrated to new areas where people still relied on hunting and gathering.
"As soon as the flooding is done, farming goes crazy across Europe," a geologist tells Reuters. Researchers say that this also provides a historical model for just how seriously climate change can affect human populations. A one-meter sea-level rise would displace 145 million people, says the leader of the study team.