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2012 Mar 5. Sharing the Blame for the Mammoth's Extinction

posted Mar 21, 2012, 10:52 AM by Fiona Potter   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 2:28 PM ]
| by Richard A. Kerr, ScienceNOW. An article pertinent to GSS Life and Climate, chapter 10.  Excerpt: The past few tens of millennia were hard times for the "megafauna" of the world. Hundreds of big-bodied species—from the mammoths of North America to the 3-meter-tall kangaroos of Australia to the 200-kilogram-plus flightless birds of New Zealand—just disappeared from the fossil record. A new, broad analysis continues the century-long debate over the loss of the big animals, coming down on the middle ground between blaming migrating humans for wiping them all out and climate change alone for doing them in. …Barnosky and environmental scientist Barry Brook of the University of Adelaide in Australia have found such a human-climate synergy operating in megafaunal extinctions when severe climate change coincided with human arrivals. A similar synergy is happening today, they say, as global warming intensifies and the human population continues to grow…. Full article at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/03/sharing-the-blame-for-the-mammot.html