Environment Forum

Climate change, not people, killed cave bears

November 26, 2008

Cave bears (left) would have been fearsome neighbours in the Stone Age — weighing up to a tonne or about 200 kg bigger than the modern heavyweights, the polar bear or the Kodiak bear.

But it turns out that they were largely vegetarian and went extinct earlier than expected as the Ice Age spread over Europe about 28,000 years ago.

Many of them apparently froze to death as they hibernated. Brrrr!  Or imagine waking up in spring to find a thick ice sheet has formed over the entrance to your cave home and trapped you inside.

So natural climate change wiped them out, rather than human hunters often blamed for killing them off about 13,000 years later, according to a study in the journal Boreas today.

Almost all extinctions since the Ice Age have been put down to human activities — and humans are now causing a global warming that U.N. studies say will cause the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs vanished 65 million years ago.

 Another study this year suggested that climate change drove woolly mammoths to the brink of extinction about 6,000 years ago and then humans finished them off.

It’s reassuring to find cases like the cave bear where people weren’t to blame.

But can you think of many other examples?

(Picture of the cave bear courtesy of N. Frotzler, University of Vienna. Reuters News pictures of a Kodiak bear, above right, and of a polar bear, above left)

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Amazingly, we humans are not the reason for climate change, or as they used to call it, global warming. We now know that the sun, not humans, is the cause for the recent changes in earth’s climate. Sunspots, which were very active over the last half century, are now in an inactive period. This is not good for humans, but is NOT caused by humans.

When are people going to wake up to the “Climate Change” scam being perpetrated by the left? Climate guilt is stupid, counterproductive and a drag on our global economy. Yet, even today, after all the scientific data pointing in the opposite direction, these very same fanatics are still trying to siphon off trillions of needed dollars to stop what is impossible to stop; the sun’s affect on our planet.

Posted by p | Report as abusive
 

The sunspot cycle is 11-years and definitely doesn’t account for the rate of global warming. Anyone saying otherwise is either ignorant, deceptive, or both.

The amount of of global warming that is anthropogenic is still under some scientific scrutiny, though consensus is the vast majority of it. Regardless, by the time the debate on the portion of the blame is fully settled, it will be too late to take action- so best to make hay when the sun shines rather than counting on the minority weather report to be right. The sooner we take action the better our chances of mitigating the effects.

 

Atmospheric modeling has for decades predicted what we are now witnessing. Sunspot enthusiasts were not predicting warming before the fact, but now attempt to fit their willful ignorance to the evidence.
Any model will show that there OUGHT to be warming with increased CO2 and other gas concentrations in our atmosphere.
The burden of proof is with the deceivers on the far right to explain how the Earth should not be warming with these increased concentrations.

Posted by Pete in Northwest | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •