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Study Suggests Weather and Not Hunting Killed Off Wooly Mammoths

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the mother-nature-wants-you-to-die dept.

Science 150

Big Hairy Ian writes, quoting the BBC: "A DNA analysis shows that the number of creatures began to decrease much earlier than previously thought as the world's climate changed. It also shows that there was a distinct population of mammoth in Europe that died out around 30,000 years ago. ... Dr Dalen worked with researchers in London to analyse DNA samples from 300 specimens from woolly mammoths collected by themselves and other groups in earlier studies ... [The researchers] speculate that it was so cold that the grass on which they fed became scarce. The decline was spurred on as the Ice Age ended, possibly because the grassland on which the creatures thrived was replaced by forests in the south and tundra in the north."

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It's a conspiracy! (2, Funny)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year ago | (#44819241)

Scientist keep changing their mind on things! It's big science that's supporting research that shows that AGW is not the root of all evil! Wait, no.... it's liberal academics who are polluting our childrens's minds with nonsense like wholly mammoths not being hunted to extinction by savage humans!

I'm confused. Someone please point me to the right meme I'm supposed to employ against evil scientists here. Help me, Bill O'Reilly!

Re:It's a conspiracy! (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#44819289)

>> point me to the right meme I'm supposed to employ against evil scientists

Try this: Those dumb scientists are blaming climate change for everything, including killing the Mammoths.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (4, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#44819353)

>> point me to the right meme I'm supposed to employ against evil scientists

Try this: Those dumb scientists are blaming climate change for everything, including killing the Mammoths.

It was obviously all the SUV's that Cro Magnons were driving.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#44819555)

My guess was....

They were ALL on the Paleo/Primal diet thing...and found that wooly mammoth tasted really GOOD!!!!

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819975)

SUVs cause global warming, not global cooling. Meanwhile, I just saw this morning at national Geographic that It was caused by extraterrestrials. [brown.edu] Not alien life, but a comet or asteroid that smacked Canada, melting glaciers which screwed up the currents in the Atlantic causing a cooling cycle (the glaciers had been retreating before the object hit).

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#44820857)

You say it wasn't alien life, but that's just what Anubis wanted you to believe.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820631)

And they were driving them 24,000 years before the earth was even created, those sneaky bastards!

actually... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year ago | (#44820733)

Actually, had our ancestors been driving all of those SUVs, the mammoths might still be with us---assuming they aren't too tasty.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a year ago | (#44821311)

>> point me to the right meme I'm supposed to employ against evil scientists

Try this: Those dumb scientists are blaming climate change for everything, including killing the Mammoths.

It was obviously all the SUV's that Cro Magnons were driving.

I think we should be blaming the cooking process. You know how much wood you have to burn to cook a freaking Mammoth? Not only is that carelessly discharging green house gases, at the same time it is destroying the best carbon sequestration system ever... trees! And don't forget that the Mammoths themselves released massive amounts of green house gases with each thunderous fart!
All of this could have been avoided if the species in question simply evolved a less tasty flavor profile!

I have to go take my meds now and then get the baby seal burgers thawed out in time for dinner.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44820659)

I don't know. I thought the flash-frozen mammoths with their last meal still in their belly was a dead giveaway. (No pun intended.)

They must have lived in Seattle (1)

sandysnowbeard (1297619) | about a year ago | (#44819465)

Weather kills all that lives there.

Re:They must have lived in Seattle (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44821057)

That's what caffeine is for. Ennnouuggghh vibbbrrrrattingg aaaannndd yooouuuu ccccaaannn staaayyyy wwwaarrrmmmm.

Too bad Starbucks wasn't around then. A woolly on a 50 shot latte would be an entertaining sight.

Re:They must have lived in Seattle (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44821085)

This post brought to you by the Discovery Institute [discovery.org] . (Interestingly located in Seattle.)

Re:It's a conspiracy! (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44819499)

Good parody up until the last line. I don't think anyone who actually uses "Scientists are always changing their minds" are confused about anything ever. It takes like a microsecond for cognitive dissonance to kick in. Have you ever confronted someone with data that runs contrary to their established worldview? Usually not even a flicker of doubt crosses their face. Any "deep in thought" processes that go on are searching for a reason to throw out the new, unwelcome bit of data rather than considering it.

It's not specific to climate change deniers or conservatives obviously. I had a similar reaction last night to a deeply catholic friend's saying that natural family planning was the most effective form of birth control. I caught myself immediately going to wiki, which backed up his statement, and then I immediately decided no, they were both definitely wrong, I just needed to dig deeper to establish the truth, that NPF was a catholic conspiracy to make more catholic babies. So, we all suffer from it, or at least I do and so do other closed minded idiots. Don't try to prove me wrong on this point!

Re:It's a conspiracy! (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44819739)

They are very few scientific laws.
Laws are fact.
There are a lot of theories.
Theories are educated guesses of how something should be, backed up by known and measured facts, that seems to match.
Hypothesis are educated guesses that needs research to be backed up. But there isn't enough data to make any sort of conclusion.

The problem is the news media, jumps on all these Hypothesis and states them as theories, and theories as laws.
So for all those Hypothesis after doing its testing found out to be false, Scientists say well it isn't that. The Fox new watching drone will say, look scientists can't make up their mind.

For theories, occasionally there is some new evidence that needs to tweak it. Then the news say, LOOK EVERY This theory that told everyone this is true is actually a full lie!!!

Re:It's a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820317)

You are woefully misinformed on the definition of "theory" in this context.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about a year ago | (#44820445)

Would you please inform us, as I appear to be under the same delusion.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (4, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about a year ago | (#44820629)

#1 thing to keep in mind: laws and theories refer to the same thing. Laws are just a historical anachronism when people used to call things laws of nature any time they found out a rule that seemed to be invariable in nature. Buoyancy, F=ma, etc.

#2 thing to keep in mind: theories are not just guesses. They are statements about how some things supposedly work, based on our current understanding of related things. They are fully independent of scientific facts, which are data. Sometimes though, theories and facts have the same name, but refer to different things. Example: the theory of evolution, and Evolution. The theory of evolution lays out how we think creatures evolve. Evolution is the fact (the data collected) that creatures evolve.

#3 thing to keep in mind: linguistically, a hypothesis and a theory is the same thing. In scientific vernacular, a hypothesis is what you have before you have data. A theory is what you have once you have collected some data and have the ability to support your theory with more than "cuz I say so."

#4 thing to keep in mind: laws, theories, hypotheses - all of these can and will be changed once data shows that they're not correct anymore. That is the hallmark of science. We've just gotten so used to things having been nailed down so well that they haven't been updated in a long time. That doesn't mean that they can't be in the future.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (3, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44820403)

Absolutely false, laws are not "facts", they are uesful generalizations and most scientific laws have many exceptions.

You want examples? Ohm's Law, Hooke's Law, Charles Law, Boyle's law are all linear approximations that many materials obey but real world materials have higher order terms and some materials have *opposite* behaviour.

Second law of thermodynamics, one of the most useful laws, applies to closed systems, but there are no truly closed systems.

Coulomb's law, applies to electrostatic system but there are no pure electrostatic systems in the universe, it is approximation and so there is "the electrostatic approximation"

Re:It's a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821105)

So for all those Hypothesis after doing its testing found out to be false, Scientists say well it isn't that. The Fox new watching drone will say, look scientists can't make up their mind.

Scientists CAN"T make their mind. That has nothing to do with Fox watchers. The people that only believe certain scientists and theories that reinforce their own beliefs and completely blow off contradicting scientists and theories are the ones that have made up their minds.

We don't know what dinosaurs looked like, we don't know why they died, we don't know what caused previous ice ages, we do not know why the mammoths disappeared in Europe or in America or where ever else they lived. We also are not totally sure why bees are dying right now as we speak and we are here now to actually observe it happening.

Re:It's a conspiracy! (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#44819831)

I thought they all peacefully coexisted and everyone ate plants, not each other?

Re:It's a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819895)

Scientist keep changing their mind on things! ...

I'm confused. Someone please point me to the right meme I'm supposed to employ against evil scientists here. Help me, Bill O'Reilly!

It's not the scientists' fault. Mother Nature is trying to kill us all ... and she'll do it too if we don't get her first.

Re: It's a conspiracy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820849)

I think you've got the right meme...not just sayn'

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819251)

We all know they died in Noah's Flood.

Re:Nonsense (3, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#44819887)

We all know they died in Noah's Flood.

I'm pretty sure it was Noah's ark and God's flood.

I wonder if the mammoths had a water bottle in their carry-on, so the TSA wouldn't let them board.

Re:Nonsense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820457)

I'm pretty sure it was Noah's ark and God's flood.

No, that was just Noah's propaganda. He didn't consider it a good idea to say "I killed all people except for my family, by causing a big flood." So he just claimed "God did it."

How history changes (-1, Troll)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44819265)

I remember growing up how asteroids, overpopulation, diseases, and shit like that once killed every species that ever went extinct. Now climate change did it all. It's kind of convenient, as apocalyptic boogeymen go. One causative factor to rule them all!! Saves time when we're concocting the next apocalypse.

Hey, whatever happened to nuclear apocalypse--radiation/nuclear winter/etc.? Anyone remember that one back in the 80's? Man, I'm old.

Re:How history changes (5, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44819361)

Or you know, the scientific method was used that refines theories, based on new evidence.

Maybe we should be like you, where we know that there's no human-induced climate change because we ignore the unprecedented rate of change in temperature over the past 2 centuries, and keep all our understanding exactly the same as when we were born.

Re:How history changes (-1, Troll)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44819557)

Or you know, the scientific method was used

They must not have had that back when I was a kid. But it's good that we finally have the answer, the final truth that it was climate change that did it all. Centuries of learning have finally lead to this ultimate moment. Now future generations will only have to refine our discovery. I bet they'll look back on us thirty years from now and admire us for finally putting the matter to rest once and for all.

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820353)

"If we cannot have perfect knowledge, we can't have any knowledge, and I'm an intellectually lazy snob"

All I could get out of what you posted..

Re:How history changes (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44820425)

So what do you suggest? No one discus science or perform studies because there's a good chance in the future more information will come to light?

Let me suggest some reading for you: Relativity of wrong [tufts.edu] .

tl;dr :

... when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

Re:How history changes (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#44820429)

Or you know, the scientific method was used that refines theories, based on new evidence.

Maybe we should be like you, where we know that there's no human-induced climate change because we ignore the unprecedented rate of change in temperature over the past 2 centuries, and keep all our understanding exactly the same as when we were born.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

Or we can be like you and keep perpetuating memes about "unprecedented rates of change" and pretend there has never been any change in the climate before the evil humans and their "machinez" came along.

It's estimated that Homo Sapiens has been on this planet for around 200K years. This graph [socialtext.net] shows temperatures for the last 3/4 of a million years. Notice that it was warmer 110K years ago than it is now? So this isn't even "unprecedented" during our time on this planet, let alone before our ancestors climbed down from the trees.

Seriously, we all need to do (a lot) more to avoid poisoning ourselves. Yes the planet is warming. Yes we are contributing to it. Yes we need to work toward ways to mitigate this. The planet has been here for 4.5 billion years. I find it a little disingenuous to look at the temperatures from the last 1500 years and claim the sky is falling.

Re:How history changes (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44821215)

Seriously, we all need to do (a lot) more to avoid poisoning ourselves. Yes the planet is warming. Yes we are contributing to it. Yes we need to work toward ways to mitigate this. The planet has been here for 4.5 billion years. I find it a little disingenuous to look at the temperatures from the last 1500 years and claim the sky is falling.

They sky isn't falling but the roof is getting pretty leaky. The difference between a couple of thousand proto humans chasing herbivores off cliffs a couple of thousand years ago and 7 billion of the annoying creatures burning anything they can get their paws on is ecologically profound.

The planet will be here long after we're gone. But at the rate we're going it's likely that the entire human experience will be a narrow band of sediment trapped inside an alien archeologist's core sample.

Re:How history changes (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about a year ago | (#44820481)

Or you know, the scientific method was used that refines theories, based on new evidence.

How is this the scientific method? Where are the controlled, repeatable experiments?

This is mostly a bunch of speculation, with the trappings of science draped over it.

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820713)

There are a host of things that can reasonably be called "controlled repeatable experiments" within the theory of human induced climate change. You're going to have to narrow down which specific hypothesis you're "concerned" with in the greater theory for me to address you query with an answer more specific than "you're wrong".

Re:How history changes (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44820757)

So new evidence is that climate change and not human encroachment caused the extinction of a species 30,000 years ago?

Suck it, deniers.

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820915)

Changing climates is a bitch for any species, no matter the rate. Evolution is a hash mistress and you get genes that adapt you really well to one circumstance, and when things change, the generalist k-selected species like cockroaches, algae, and e-coli kick your ass.

It's a little disingenuous to say that's similar to what's happening now. Human concerns are for relatively small temperature changes over REALLY REALLY REALLY short amounts of time, that threaten the stable conditions the agro-economies of the world are currently built on, not the continued existence of species.

Re:How history changes (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44821011)

The charts show an average change of some 0.2 degrees kelvin deviation from mean over decades, so yeah. Relatively small temperature changes.

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44821035)

You have to understand, that's fast geologically speaking. It's not a lot but the time span in question is really damn short.

Re:How history changes (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44820771)

Funny that you think the scientific method was used in relation to explaining ice ages and global warming/cooling... Historical sciences are guesses at best and typically have very little to do with the scientific method. This is why they are overturned often and in massive ways. The "faith" that people have put into global warming based on only history and computer models is staggering. And the zeal with which they have attacked anyone who disagrees smacks of burning people at the stake for believing in a round earth. It's closer to politics or religion than science, because a true scientist doesn't care if other people agree with his "side". In a true science, the facts will do that for them.

Of course, now we know that instead of their being no ice in 2013 (as predicted), there is actually so much ice that 20 ships are trapped in the arctic and most of the shipping lines are completely blocked. On the past 2 seasons of Deadliest Catch, they had to go home and take a break for a few weeks because the entire sea was full of ice, the most in 30-40 years.

This stuff is way more complicated than most people think and we are in the early stages of understanding it. To treat anyone as an idiot for having a difference of opinion at this early stage is just mind-blowing. And as for "unprecedented rate of change of temperature"? I don't think .5 degrees over 100 years is that big of a deal, especially when I question the accuracy being good enough to catch half a degree 100 years ago.

Climate changes. With or without man. We see a "fertile crescent" in Iraq that now looks like a massive desert (because they cut down all the trees). We see a California which was a desert which is now Mediterranean (because of man planting lots of trees). We see flash frozen mammoths (and don't know why). We know the earth has recovered from an ice age in the past, so it's pretty darn resilient.

The bottom line is you are right. We should do our best to keep learning because we really don't understand this stuff yet. But vilifying people that disagree and trying to stifle their funding and ruin their careers hampers that effort significantly. And that's what the GP was lamenting.

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820945)

Funny that you think the scientific method was used in relation to explaining ice ages and global warming/cooling... Historical sciences are guesses at best and typically have very little to do with the scientific method. This is why they are overturned often and in massive ways. The "faith" that people have put into global warming based on only history and computer models is staggering. And the zeal with which they have attacked anyone who disagrees smacks of burning people at the stake for believing in a round earth. It's closer to politics or religion than science, because a true scientist doesn't care if other people agree with his "side". In a true science, the facts will do that for them.

Yeah, we totally don't use science to understand things that already happened, like how the Sun formed, or how life operates, without directly observing those processes.

No wait, those are very well understood concepts in astronomy and biology, and you're a misguided idiot for pretending that science always happens in a test-tube.

Re:How history changes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820973)

so besides artifially skewing numbers, what has science offered us besides a widening gap with reality in current models, a dogmatic approach to high level forcing when that is obviously a fallacy, and a conpiratorial and politicized view of alternate theories?

Re:How history changes (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44820989)

Besides making things up, do you have anything to contribute?

Re:How history changes (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44819435)

So, you were never taught about "Ice Ages" in school?

Hey, whatever happened to nuclear apocalypse--radiation/nuclear winter/etc.? Anyone remember that one back in the 80's?

Did you somehow miss the whole Fukushima thing?

Re:How history changes (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44819611)

Did you somehow miss the whole Fukushima thing?

Ah, that's weak tea. A true 1983-style nuclear apocalypse has to have mutants on dune-buggies and wastelands (or at least bombed-out cities with lots of skulls laying around).

Re:How history changes (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#44820107)

Ah, that's weak tea. A true 1983-style nuclear apocalypse has to have mutants on dune-buggies and wastelands (or at least bombed-out cities with lots of skulls laying around).

...and a young, anti-hero...looks a lot like a very young Mel Gibson (before he went nuts), and I think he was "Angry" or something...?

:D

Re:How history changes (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44819679)

So, you were never taught about "Ice Ages" in school?

What, are we're talking about 3500 BCE, when Noah was chillin' with dinosaurs?

Re:How history changes (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44820769)

In school there was something called "The Ice Age" which we were told was some point in time before civilization when the entire earth was a huge ball of ice, after the dinosaurs died.

Re:How history changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819493)

This story is relatively old, isn't it?

http://evolve.zoo.ox.ac.uk/evolve/Oliver_Pybus_files/bisonMedia.pdf

Re:How history changes (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#44819811)

Hey, whatever happened to nuclear apocalypse--radiation/nuclear winter/etc.? Anyone remember that one back in the 80's? Man, I'm old.

The parachute pants and narrow ties didn't disappear. The Russians and the USA still have huge stockpiles, and it should still concern you. You should also be worried about their nuclear weapons.

Re:How history changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819853)

Hey, whatever happened to nuclear apocalypse--radiation/nuclear winter/etc.?

Fortunately we didn't yet have a nuclear war to test those predictions.

Re:How history changes (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44820393)

You have to separate facts from culture. You have a nice menu of extintion causes [wikipedia.org] to choose from, but culture have other priorities, Dinosaurs are still named antediluvian (from before the flood) or prehistoric (before written history) animals, no matter what killed them. Some of what you said are still potential extintion causes, i.e. for diseases, we have as precedent the black death [wikipedia.org] that killed from 30 to 60% of the population in europe, overpopulation is a ticking bomb, but will not mean extintion, "just" a lot of deaths, and regarding nuclear apocalypse is a pending threat too (the country that had in account most wars and alikes in recent history have still the biggest nuclear arsenal).

Regarding climate change, it definately causes the extintion of species, i.e. an ice age kills species that depends on warm/hot climates, and happened a lot of them in earth history. But about the asteroid that "caused" the extintion of dinosaurs, is not that it hit in the head in each dinosaur, between other effects, it made the global temperature drop, that was one of the factors that contributed to a mass extintion. We got already hit by supervolcanos, the Toba eruption [wikipedia.org] 70k years ago almost wiped mankind, but what killed us wasn't directly the eruption, but the global cooling that came after.

The current cultural problem regarding climate change is that this time wasnt a supervolcano or an asteroid the one that is causing the climate change and all its possible consequences, but us. And while the main factors contributing to it keep actively denying that is happening, it will keep increasing.

Re:How history changes (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44820813)

It is said that ice ages caused the extinction of north america's earth worms, and the re-introduction of european nightcrawlers is destroying our forests by causing a change in the topsoil chemistry.

I say scientists are dumb. Okay, so some worms will till the soil, the nitrogen balance changes, leaves decay faster. These large shifts will impact how seedlings grow and thrive; over time, new seedlings which thrive better in an ecosystem with earthworms will outcompete the ones that take best to a worm-free system. Give it a few hundred years and the forests will change over--not suddenly and catastrophically collapse.

Scientists aren't even arguing that forests will collapse or mass extinctions will occur; I've seen arguments like "We need to slow the progression and spread of worms to keep some areas as they are, because there's some inherent value in that." Inherent value? A non-important ecological evolution and you want to lock that shit down and freeze state to as-it-is-now? You're arguing that growth and adaptation are not value; stagnation and stasis are value. Stagnation and stasis in the biosphere will weaken it and expose it to greater risk of failure under stress!

Humans fear change. Extinction of a species of which there are 30 alive on the planet and have been at most 250 alive on the planet in the past 500 years and they do nothing except nibble on some leaves of no plant in particular would be seen as a devastating catastrophe.

Re:How history changes (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44821037)

Scientists (in average, at least) are not dumb, but their knowledge is limited. Probably the current ecosystem is not fully understood (at least, going to microbes and even lower levels), and so how fragile is or at least how easy is to go from one ecosystem to a different another is not (fully?) known. But the problem with ecosystem is that we are part of it, most of what we depend on is part of it too. Introducing big changes won't kill all life probably, life eventually adapts, if changes are not too fast, but will the new environment be friendly with us?

Maybe is a bias, but i prefer to follow advice form people that know something on the topic, based on evidence, information gathering, and experimentation, and admit that that knowledge is far from complete, over the advice of people that think that they know everything, based on hints, prejudices and ridged information. The second kind could get random hits, but i prefer to play with loaded dices.

Re:How history changes (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44820455)

Hey, whatever happened to nuclear apocalypse--radiation/nuclear winter/etc.? Anyone remember that one back in the 80's? Man, I'm old.

In case you didn't notice WWIII didn't come (yet) so tens of thousands of nuclear warheads didn't explode all over the world whirling up tons of dust into the atmosphere causing a massive global drop in temperature. The only reason nobody talks about it today is because a full scale nuclear confrontation seems so unlikely, we're still more than capable.

Caveman Aduni Wuts says (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44819273)

"Don't worry about the mammoth numbers, I'm sure they'll adapt to the changing weather. Mammoths have been around a very long time you know."

Re:Caveman Aduni Wuts says (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44819439)

Caveman Aduni Wuts

You repeat yourself.

Re:Caveman Aduni Wuts says (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about a year ago | (#44819737)

Yeah, but I need a mammoth tusk now, for a chick in Winterhold.

Re:Caveman Aduni Wuts says (1)

HybridST (894157) | about a year ago | (#44820059)

I used to be like you; in need of a mammoth tusk. Then I took an arrow to the knee!

Re:Caveman Aduni Wuts says (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about a year ago | (#44820263)

For just 570 gold, Dwarven obsidian dragon plate knee guards, cheap!

Mammoth burgers (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#44819399)

Look, who's the bigger villain, humans with their penchant for turning anything that moves or doesn't move into a ___burger or climate change that is the current boogeyman?

Who knows? Let's face it, any number of factors from volcanoes to natural predators to climate change to caveman barbeques all likely shared guilt. The world isn't black and white and people need to stop thinking of everything as having a singular one dimensional true answer.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819481)

Being delicious to humans ensures your success as a species as long as humans exist.

Chickens, cows, pigs... millions of 'em

Tigers, lions, elephants? Not so much

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#44819599)

Being delicious to humans ensures your success as a species as long as humans exist.

It didn't help the Galapagos tortoises or the Passenger Pigeon.

Re:Mammoth burgers (3, Funny)

Piata (927858) | about a year ago | (#44819865)

It didn't help the Galapagos tortoises or the Passenger Pigeon.

Well obviously. They were not delicious.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#44820095)

The galapagos tortoises were indescribably delicious. They all got eaten on the way back to Britain, where they were being taken for the purpose of scientific study and preservation. Not sure about the PP, but it was hunted for food. Being delicious is only an evolutionary advantage if the species is also domesticable.

Re:Mammoth burgers (3, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#44820219)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
Captain James Colnett of the British Navy wrote of "the land tortoise which in whatever way it was dressed, was considered by all of us as the most delicious food we had ever tasted."[108] US Navy captain David Porter declared that, "after once tasting the Gallipagos tortoises, every other animal food fell off greatly in our estimation ... The meat of this animal is the easiest of digestion, and a quantity of it, exceeding that of any other food, can be eaten without experiencing the slightest of inconvenience."[81] Darwin was less enthusiastic about the meat, writing "the breast-plate roasted (as the Gauchos do "carne con cuero"), with the flesh on it, is very good; and the young tortoises make excellent soup; but otherwise the meat to my taste is indifferent."

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44820183)

No, it didn't. The OP was correct but incomplete: Being delicious to humans *and being able to be efficiently domesticated by humans* ensures your success as a species as long as humans exist.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year ago | (#44820381)

Being delicious to humans *and being able to be efficiently domesticated by humans* ensures your success as a species as long as humans exist.

Ok, let's see.
Species: human
Delicious to humans: check
Efficiently domesticated by humans: check.

I see a giant upside to this emerging market. excuse me while I assassinate my competition, Mr. Soy Lent.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year ago | (#44820377)

or the Dodo...

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

jabuzz (182671) | about a year ago | (#44819861)

Wrong, allowing your self to become domesticated is the key to genetic success. So for example horses which are not widely eaten are doing well. On the other hand zebra's which are virtually undomesticatable not so much.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44820033)

Being delicious to humans ensures your success as a species as long as humans exist.

Chickens, cows, pigs... millions of 'em

Tigers, lions, elephants? Not so much

People do eat elephants, you know.

Tastes kind of like mammoth, I hear.

Re:Mammoth burgers (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44820191)

That's completely unacceptable. We have to have a one-size-fits-all scapegoat that we can heavily politicize.

Disputable results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819409)

The liberals will argue the opposite, and use this just as another reason why guns are bad.

Straw man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819515)

And exactly where do you see them doing this?

Citation?

I'm waiting.

I'm still waiting.

Re:Straw man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820017)

And exactly where do you see them doing this?

Citation?

I'm waiting.

I'm still waiting.

When you have no intelligence of your own, you can always quack out the party line. No citations needed.

Damn Global Warming (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year ago | (#44819417)

It was all them blasted cavemen with their fancy fires that caused it!

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819457)

Humans killed off the dinosaours by hunting, why not the big elephants with tusks?

Re:well (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about a year ago | (#44820361)

oh, someone who has been to the Kentucky Creationist museum...

Mammoths (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#44819489)

Have you seen the size of those things? They must have driven *HUGE* SUVs. No wonder climate change wiped them out.

Still humans' fault? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819553)

Since climate change only happens because of human activity it's still our fault, right?

Re:Still humans' fault? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819841)

Natural events cause fires, therefore arson doesn't exist.

Re:Still humans' fault? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44820431)

but damage due to arson is neglible compared to value of destroyed property and extent of damage done by natural fires. hmmm...

I prefer the Bedrock Theory (5, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44819583)

Their insatiable drive for 24/7 dishwashers eliminated the mammoth's ability to reproduce.

Re:I prefer the Bedrock Theory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820065)

Nah, that couldn't have killed them. After all, it's a living.

Polar ice? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44819593)

Wasn't the BBC the one who said we'd be ice-free by 2013?

I Blame.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44819601)

Global Humidification

Seriously, ever wear a sweater on a hot, humid day? It'll kill ya!

or make you wish you was dead

Weather? Really? (2)

SoupGuru (723634) | about a year ago | (#44819715)

Can we not contribute to the confusion between climate and weather, please? I mean, we're mostly technically literate people here and can appreciate the need to stick to agreed-upon definitions of words, right?

Words have meaning.

Re:Weather? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820435)

Words have meaning.

We live in a society here!

Re:Weather? Really? (0)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#44820877)

Right. Weather is a day-to-day phenomenon which could be hot, cool, trend up or down. Climate is something entirely different and unrelated to weather. Its a thing we have to take on faith that we are damaging beyond repair even when weather trends the other way.

But.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819803)

But since humans are the cause of all climate change throughout the ages, then it was humans that killed the mammoths.

I think the world would be a better place without humans.

Re:But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819813)

your an idot

Re:But.. (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about a year ago | (#44819881)

your an idot

Yuo two

What? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#44819851)

The BBC News version is pretty damn confusing.

""The picture that seems to be emerging is that they were a fairly dynamic species that went through local extinctions, expansions and migrations. It is quite exciting that so much was going on," he told BBC News."

The idea that they were a dynamic and occasionally migratory species, yet died out because they couldn't find GRASS seems a little odd. I mean, it's not like the last Ice Age ENTIRELY covered the planet with glaciers.

"They found that the species nearly went extinct 120,000 years ago when the world warmed up for a while. Numbers are thought to have dropped from several million to tens of thousands but numbers recovered as the planet entered another ice age."

So wait, I thought the theory was that they couldn't find food due to climate change? They almost went extinct when the climate warmed UP? Remember, we're talking about a climate SUBSTANTIALLY colder than today, with sea levels 120m or more below today's levels. The "warming" was to levels still quite a bit cooler than today....and grass is pretty common?

"The researchers also found that the decline that led to their eventual extinction began 20,000 years ago when the Ice Age was at its height, rather than 14,000 years ago when the world began to warm again as previously thought.

They speculate that it was so cold that the grass on which they fed became scarce. The decline was spurred on as the Ice Age ended, possibly because the grassland on which the creatures thrived was replaced by forests in the south and tundra in the north."

"But from about 20,000 years ago onwards, the population started the dramatic decline that led to its extinction, first on the mainland about 10,000 years ago, and finally on some outlying Arctic islands. The pattern seems to fit forcing by natural climate change: any role of humans in the process has yet to be demonstrated".'

This pattern fits no such thing. Maximum glaciation was reached about 22,000 years ago. Thus the mammoth population started its dramatic decline shortly after WARMING began. Now, granted, it's possible this was an inertial effect, the way it gets coldest in the morning as the sun is coming up, but the fact that the bulk of their decline was only 10,000 years ago (when the climate had significantly warmed and grasses were again widespread), their last remnants (that we know of) were on ARCTIC islands (why would they have gone North?), are both far better fits to the "human success killed them off" theories.

Frankly, this all sounds like bollocks to me, unless your sole goal was to try to spread more FUD that "warming" - of any kind, in any context, and from any start point - is "bad"...and that would be somewhere between politics and religion, not science.

Re:What? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44820821)

that would be somewhere between politics and religion, not science

Sadly, this represents most of the science reported in the media these days...

Earth Doesn't Need Saving (1)

RugRat (323562) | about a year ago | (#44819873)

Perhaps the Mammoths were too preoccupied trying to "save the earth" when it was themselves that needed saving!

Weather and "not hunting" killed them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820313)

Good news for hunters! By not hunting, you are actually contributing to a species demise!
 
Pull the trigger that makes you man...

Mammoths throughout the ages (3, Insightful)

Misagon (1135) | about a year ago | (#44820343)

Mammoth-type animals have actually appeared and gone extinct not once, but at about once every ice-age cycle.
That blew my mind when I heard it the first time.

That the last type the mammoths would have gone extinct because of climate change does not seem very far-fetched then, now does it.

Re:Mammoths throughout the ages (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44820993)

Also saber toothed animals.

Re:Mammoths throughout the ages (1)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#44821279)

What about saber-toothed mammoths... ? Please.

Of course it was weather, its the BBC (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#44821375)

Global warming is the source of all problems according to the BBC. Our selfish behavior today can be directly linked back to killing the Wooly Mammoths 30,000 years ago, dontcha know.

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