climate change, mammoths

3 Aug 2015

At ... and .... concerns a paper that blames the demise of the mammoths and other large beasties on 'climate change' - and human impact was negligible. This story has been around for a while and got the commenters at WattsUp in a huff. They objected to climate change playing a role and tended to 'big up' the role of human predation by hunters. WattsUp readers don't seem to be able to join the dots as if you substitute catastrophism for climate change (being the vector for rapid warming or cooling) it all begins to make sense. WattsUp commenters don't like cosmic intrusions causing atmospheric loading and colder weather so there is a pattern in this. They certainly wouldn't like the idea of an Earth wobble that eventually wound itself out and returned the world to its normal warm state - as that is not on the agenda of mainstream (or climate sceptics). The latter have all their eggs in the basket of low solar activity = cooler weather (and not doubt they will be very disappointed when this doesn't occur in the next solar cycle).

One of the authors, Chris Turney, has written a couple of books that are a great aid to catastrophists. He doesn't interpret the data in a catastrophist light as he is obsessed by CAGW (to a certain degree) but he presents evidence that could equally apply to catastrophism as it could to climate change as a result of ocean circulation systems, or whatever is the flavour of the month amongst climate scientists. WattsUp commenters are quite shrill in being averse to Chris Turney - but we all have our demons I suppose. Angst is rife.

The article, in the journal Science ( ) (July, 2015) makes sense if you substitute catastrophism for climate change - a series of catastrophes that took place between 60,000 years ago and 12000 years ago (they avoided the Holocene, especially the 8200 years ago event). It isn't about extinctions, as such, but a series of mass die-offs. These are comparable to the Younger Dryas boundary event which also led to the die off of certain anilmal species in certain geographical regions (as a result of an abrupt change of climate caused by - catastrophe). The Yahoo piece actually begins by saying, 'during the unstable climate of the Late Pleistocene, about 60,000 to 12,000 years ago ...'. Climate spikes are sometimes known as interstadial events, rapidly changing temperature between 4 and 16 degrees celsius - in a matter of decades (read instantly as ice cores are read in 10 year blocks). Interstadials involved dramatic shifts in global rainfall patterns and vegetation regimes - and mass die-offs. Sometimes entire species were affected -other times it was the a reduction in population with surviving groups in favourable niche environments. The article is well researched - but you need not take onboard their explanation.