Spanning 1 million square miles, Northern China’s Tibetan Plateau is both massive and inhospitable — winter temperatures here routinely plunge below -40 degrees Fahrenheit. However, new research reveals this wasn’t always the case and that global warming is far from a new phenomenon.
Recent analysis of a group of ancient animals in the bovid family (that includes cattle, bison, and even rhinoceroses) reveals this icy part of the world may have once been temperate — even tropical.
The findings, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest the ancestors of traditionally tropical species, including gaur and Sumatran rhinos, once called this plateau home and may have only migrated south in later years due to a warming climate.
The zooarchaeologists behind the study used a different method to animal identification than that used in the past. Previously, scientists tentatively recognized the Tibetan yak as colonizing this particular region during the time period in question, by looking at physical features alone. However, the new study took a different approach, and instead deciphered the remains’ DNA.
Using a mix of whole-genome and mitochondrial DNA analysis on specimens dating back about 5,200 years, the researchers homed in on which modern bovid species the remains most closely matched. This DNA dissection quickly revealed that the animals in question were almost identical to present-day low-latitude tropical rainforest gaurs (similar to bison) and Sumatran-like rhinoceroses.
“Up to now, there has been no record that gaurs once inhabited relatively high latitudes in northern China, especially in the higher-altitude [plateau,]” explain the authors. “[But] our systematic [ancient] DNA dissection revealed that the present-day low-latitude tropical rainforest gaurs and Sumatran-like rhinoceroses once rambled over northern Asia.”
The researchers point out that modern-day gaurs and Sumatran rhinos wouldn’t last long on the frozen Tibetan plateau today. However, it appears the region’s ancient climate would have been much more to their liking — by studying paleoclimate data from the period, the zooarchaeologists discovered that the environment would have actually been warm and moist.
Lifted directly from the study’s abstract: “This highlights the intimate connection among climate change, the geographical distribution of wildlife, and human hunting behavior in northwest China during that period.”
So, as short a time as 5,000 years ago what are now the inhospitable frozen plateaus of northern China were so warm and wet that bovid roamed them.
These findings serve as further proof that climate is cyclic, never linear, and also that natural mechanisms alone are are capable of producing violent and swift climatic swings — no human CO2 emissions required.
Alarmists, please get over yourselves.
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift
The post Just 5,000 years ago, Northern China’s Frozen Tibetan Plateau was home to Tropical Species appeared first on Electroverse.