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How woolly mammoths could end global warming

Feb. 25, 2016

Bringing extinct animal back into existence seems like an inevitability rather than a fanciful idea, and wooly mammoths are slated to be one of the first species to be restored.

Who will save the world from the impending disasters caused by climate change? Scientists? Activists? Superman? According to one scientist, woolly mammoths might be our only hope. Bringing extinct animal back into existence seems like an inevitability rather than a fanciful idea, and wooly mammoths are slated to be one of the first species to be restored. A Harvard team led by geneticist George Church has already spliced a piece of mammoth DNA into the cell of an elephant. But how will wooly mammoths reverse climate change?

According to Inverse: "Russian scientist Sergey Zimov believes that re-populating the Arctic with herds of large herbivores is the world’s last hope to prevent disastrous permafrost melting and runaway climate change — more carbon is locked up in permafrost than is in the Earth’s atmosphere today.

How are these animals going to save the world? By trampling down and digging through snow to get at nutritious grasses underneath. This reduces the insulative power of the snow, and lets the Arctic chill sink deep into the earth, keeping it good and frozen. In preliminary tests, soil in areas where animals were present was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit colder than area blanketed in untouched snow. They also improve the fertility of the land by digesting grasses so that the nutrients in them are quickly recycled back into the environment."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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