Natural Geo-engineering

16 May 2018

At https://phys.org/print445498815.html ... geo-engineering may come to the aid of catastrophism it would seem. One of the geo-engineering ideas being touted at the moment by global warming alarmists is the reintroduction of the mammoth - bringing thse beasts back to life using DNA. Apparently, the belief that mammoths (very large elephants) lived in freezing conditions on the tundra is central to the idea. The fact that mammoths may have lived in a temperate steppe zone rather than in tundra conditions is left unquestioned. Elephants like eating shrubs and branches of trees - but it is not thought the mammoths did this and just ate mosses, grasses, and the occasional piece of scrub. If the mammoth is reintroduced and fails to survive in sunny Siberia - what then? Later mammoths do have teeth more adapted to eating grass whereas early mammoth had teeth much like elephants that eat a lot of woody material - so perhaps we should not jump to conclusions.

The mammoth steppe zone stretched from Spain right across Europe (avoiding the ice sheet) into what is now Russia, to Siberia and Alaska. We are not told if this applied just to the Late Glacial Maximum or included the period prior to 30,000 years ago. The idea that an extensive ice sheet existed right across the northern hemisphere has now largely been abandoned - although Siberia is judged to have had periglacial conditions (bitterly cold weather). However, if the North Pole was in a different position during the LGM period it would imply weather in Siberia was somewhat benign - and the steppe zone was much like what occurs across much of temperate Eurasia (in the Ukraine for example). One further oddity is that they are assuming mammoth will change the habitat and grasses will come to dominate what is now tundra. How that might occur without mammoth dying out is anyone's guess - and does grass grow in cold weather. In the UK hay is baled up as winter feed for livestock precisely because grass does not grow when it is very cold. Even horses run out of grass and have to be fed with hay. One common animal of the Ice Age steppe zone was the horse - as well as bison, musk ox, and mammoth. All these are herbivores and of a large size - which would require a lot of grass. Best of luck for the reintroduction I say, as it may need a fair bit of luck to succeed. Another odd part of this story is that huge sums of money would be ploughed into reintroducing the mammoth when at the same time elephants are under threat and lack of funds is hampering their preservation. It seems that anything involving climate change is able to generate vast sums of loot from our taxes but a more worthwhile project aimed at stopping the elephant going extinct is treated as somebody elses problem. Climate change is a never ending avalanche of money - robbed from consumers as much as from governments. When will justice prevail. Just a fraction of that money could alleviate Africa's lack of energy on tap and provide enough food for people to sustain a decent standard of living. Instead, the zealots would rather they go hungry, or migrate to countries where there is accessible power stations and energy on tap. They can present them as climate refugees I suppose rather  than refugees provoked by expensive green levies and restrictions.