A recent study claims that mammoths were killed by climate change. The abrupt global warming could have been the cause of the wooly mammoth’s mass extinction.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales and from the University of Adelaide, Australia found that quick and brief warming events called interstadials, which were recorded during the last ice age or the Pleistocene were actually linked to some substantial extinction occurrences which happened even before man walked on Earth.
Professor at the University of Adelaide and the lead author of the study, Alan Cooper said that the abrupt warming had a deep impact on the climate and led to marked shifts in the global vegetation and rainfall pattern. Even if humans weren’t around in that period, we still saw some mass extinctions. He said that the addition of humans led to the pressure and fragmentation of the environment which causes global warming and this is something to think about concerning our future.
The scientists got this result after analyzing a pattern, 10 years ago, in a number of DNA studies indicating the very quick disappearance of many large species. At first, the information gathered suggested that the extinctions were connected to intense cold snaps. However, as the researchers continued to look into the matter, they discovered that the true cause of the extinctions was actually the global warming that happened in the last ice age.
The more DNA from fossils made available from the collections of museums the scientists analyzed and the better the carbon dating technology got the scientists were astonished to find that the mammoths were killed by climate change, namely global warming.
The complete discoveries inside the study give out more details regarding what truly happened to the woolly mammoths and the extinctions of other species, like the giant sloth. The two were part of an animal group that vanished around 11,000 years in the past at the end of the Pleistocene.
Cooper said that the sudden climate warming caused huge changes in the environment which set in motion the extinction events. However, the appearance of humans applied the final touch on a population that was about to go under already. He added that it is crucial to acknowledge that man played a significant role in the disappearance of some species.
The study about how mammoths were killed by climate change was published in the journal Science.
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