Man-made climate change ‘has happened before’

Is history repeating itself? A new exhibit looks 12,000 years into the past to warn us about a future of climate

If you think lions and tigers are scary, you should see the animals of the Ice Age. There were bears that towered at ten feet tall, gigantic sloths the weight of cars and huge cats with sabre teeth.

But by the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago, all of them had gone extinct. There are no more giant sloths and giant beavers roaming the planet. And today the supersize armadillo is just a distant memory. Scientists used to think that this was because of changes in the climate or an exploding comet, but recently they have started to blame humans.

According to their research, the destruction of these animals and their habitats was caused by wildfires and hunting by ancient humans, as well as by global warming.

A new exhibition by an Ice Age fossil museum is trying to show us the similarities between then and now. Our current climate crisis has also seen rising global temperatures, wildfires and overhunting.

What our ancestors did all those centuries ago, now we are doing on an even bigger scale.

“What is scary is that we have warmed the planet in the past 100 years by almost as much as in these Ice Age studies,” said one scientist.