The History of Climate Cycles (and the Woolly Rhino) Explained

  • Published: 31 May 2019
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    Throughout the Pleistocene Epoch, the range of the woolly rhino grew and shrank in sync with global climate. So what caused the climate -- and the range of the woolly rhino -- to cycle back and forth between such extremes?

    Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the excellent Woolly Rhino illustration. You can find more of Julio's work here:

    Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios:

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    Markovic, A. "Woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach, 1803) from Pleistocene of Serbia." Bulletin of the Natural History Museum of Belgrade (A) 47 (1998): 217-237.
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Comments • 1 225

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   6 months back

    Hi Eons viewers! As some of you have pointed out, I mistakenly cropped out Mars in the image we show when we mention that Milankovic was obsessed with ice ages on both Earth and Mars. Sorry to all of you (and the planet Mars) for the error! -Seth

    • Pedro06
      Pedro06  4 weeks back

      Have you ever covered ocean Phytoplankton’s? So many people need to be educated on their importance.

    • ungoyone
      ungoyone  4 weeks back

      @Kylo Robb The right front leg is behind the left front. You can kind of tell by how the right shoulder is positioned.

    • Kylo Robb
      Kylo Robb  2 months back

      1:01 This drives me crazy. There is a 3 legged mammoth in the painting.

    • Hugo Chavez
      Hugo Chavez  3 months back

      Great Channel Nonetheless.!!

    • Dacoda Strack
      Dacoda Strack  4 months back

      @Tom Tyler you need to relax

  • The Wall
    The Wall  11 hours back

    Global warming will happen no matter how many cows we get rid of because the sun is getting warmer and no solar panels will change that.

    • Derek Of Rivia
      Derek Of Rivia  21 hours back

      But the politicians tell me that this is the first time the climate has ever changed and the world will end if we rise another degree in temperature.

      • Andy Smith
        Andy Smith  2 days back

        I hate snow

        • Johnny Hawkins
          Johnny Hawkins  5 days back

          VERY GOOD I CAN DIG IT!!!!!!

          • silver watcher
            silver watcher  6 days back

            Big old bully tilt and wobble. Random thought what would our climate look like if we had perfect alignment. You know before we were knocked of our wobble. If there's not a god what on earth is the explanation for perfect solar harmony. Dont buy random luck. But also don't believe one dude did it either. Either way it happened life.

            • Gr8 bAnD1t0
              Gr8 bAnD1t0  6 days back

              Younger Dryas theory is the most logical for the rapid heat up right before the holocene

              • Michael Hodge
                Michael Hodge  2 weeks back

                HOW DARE YOU! We caused all climate change! From the beginning of time...

                • Anthony Coyle
                  Anthony Coyle  4 weeks back

                  host is fantastic I really do enjoy listening to her voice

                  • PrincessTS01
                    PrincessTS01  4 weeks back

                    earthquakes like the one from march 2011 in japan can alter the angle

                    The quake shortened Earth's day by 1.8 microseconds (µs) and shifted its figure axis by 17 centimetres (cm). Just to clear things up, our planet wasn't knocked off its axis by the quake. Instead, the earthquake redistributed Earth's mass, thus moved the figure axis, around which the world's mass is balanced.Mar 11, 2017
                    How did the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake Change Earth's Rotation?'s%20day,by%2017%20centimetres%20(cm).&targetText=Just%20to%20clear%20things%20up,the%20world's%20mass%20is%20balanced.

                    • HelmetBlissta
                      HelmetBlissta  4 weeks back

                      I learned the word "obliquity"

                      • GuilhotinaGamez
                        GuilhotinaGamez  1 months back

                        Sooo, cows fart have no measurable effects on climate?
                        How dare you?

                        • witri9
                          witri9  1 months back

                          No, no, no. A “consensus” of scientists says mankind causes global warm.

                          • Nate
                            Nate  4 weeks back

                            Actually the consensus is that mankind's use of fossile fuel is the main cause of the current warming episode. Obviously you've chosen to reduce it in a way that shows you haven't actually read the research. But it's possible your understanding of it came from the media.

                        • RBEO22
                          RBEO22  1 months back

                          It's almost as if climate change is a natural/cyclical phenomena that will happen no matter what we do!

                        • lamanchadale
                          lamanchadale  1 months back

                          This video completely ignored Svensmark and his research. Watch "the cloud mystery" on You Tube for an introduction.

                          • Qusin111
                            Qusin111  1 months back

                            cut out the last 4 minutes or so and you have a show

                            • Angus Gordon-Farleigh
                              Angus Gordon-Farleigh  1 months back

                              This presenter is SO sexily attractive! I'd watch her describing the train timetable at Crewe Junction over ten hours. >SIGH<

                              • Jay Fredrickson
                                Jay Fredrickson  1 months back

                                Find a private place and get a grip on yourself 😏

                            • TheOerdin
                              TheOerdin  1 months back

                              Humans probably contributed to its final demise.

                              • Scott LaRocca
                                Scott LaRocca  1 months back

                                Das it mane

                                • Linear Wolf
                                  Linear Wolf  2 months back

                                  How to support pbs eons without spending money
                                  Make google account
                                  Sub to pbs eons
                                  Make another google account
                                  Sub to obs eons

                                  • Linear Wolf
                                    Linear Wolf  2 months back

                                    Ahhhh earth
                                    Too cold
                                    Got back to right temperature
                                    Got too hot
                                    So great..........

                                    • Chris Djernaes
                                      Chris Djernaes  2 months back

                                      Fantastic !! Best Explanation of Climate Change. If only Academia taught this in schools and the Media actually tried informing and educating readers.
                                      BUT ... current CO2 = .04% of Earth’s Atmosphere ... It’s basically irrelevant and actually fundamental chemical in photosynthesis, i.e., it’s plant food.
                                      Atmospheric CO2 is always at its lowest during glaciation and highest when earth is warmest - e.g., 130-115k years ago.
                                      We need MORE CO2 to create more plants for more animals to eat and also absorb more CO2 - i.e., the virtuous Cycle of life.

                                      • Tony Siragusano
                                        Tony Siragusano  2 months back

                                        I thought the last iceage was 10 000 years ago.

                                        • yooser naime
                                          yooser naime  2 months back

                                          She could lose some weight.

                                          • Tom Mallard
                                            Tom Mallard  2 months back

                                            RE: Loss of the megafauna in N.America, AGU mtg talks, a double whammy wiped out their fodder at a latitude of Central Beringia across the Eastern Arctic:

                                            • Larry Brennan
                                              Larry Brennan  2 months back

                                              I knew she'd have to work in carbon dioxide. Didn't mention that its levels have been far higher at many times in the past, though. Curious.

                                              • African Tilapia
                                                African Tilapia  2 months back

                                                A huge ommision was the thinking of James Croll. His amazing story is all the greater for having been SELF TAUGHT!

                                                • Raedi Aufar
                                                  Raedi Aufar  2 months back

                                                  so basically human has wrecked up climate cycles that has going on for hundred thousands of years

                                                  • Peter Crites
                                                    Peter Crites  2 months back

                                                    Can you please stop saying 'eeequater'. It's equator.

                                                    • Dave Begotka
                                                      Dave Begotka  2 months back

                                                      KAKA this is KAKA.....the sun has everything to do with climate change

                                                      • BMrider75
                                                        BMrider75  2 months back

                                                        Thank you PBS, a very worthy video. This should be compulsory viewing for every climate change denier. (actually, it'd have to be 4 or 5 viewings each before they started to get it!)

                                                        • Zander Field
                                                          Zander Field  2 months back

                                                          You ginger beast.

                                                          • Alex Barbre
                                                            Alex Barbre  2 months back

                                                            Hold up! Hold up! You mean to tell me the climate has been changing back and forth for ever without human influence? How are we supposed to stop that?!??!?!?!!!! Like for real here I get we can slow it down or speed it up but we know it's for sure gonna happen?

                                                            • 土竜八七
                                                              土竜八七  4 weeks back

                                                              Of course you don't need human influence for the climate to change, and sure there are a lot of factors humans can't do anything about, like Milankovich cycles, plate tectonics and volcanism. Hypothetically, if human civilization didn't contribute any accumulated CO2 and methane in the atmosphere, we would still have to adapt to the next glacial maximum once the current interglacial period was over. Much of northern Eurasia and northern North America would be practically uninhabitable. Now given the fact that we've raised the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to over 400 ppm some researchers suggest we could actually be postponing the next ice age by 100 000 years (, if our emissions over time amount to 1-1500 gigatons of cumulative CO2 (we pumped out 37 gigatons last year). Even if most would argue that global warming will have much more imminent detrimental effects than the next ice age would with time, it is ultimately a kind of catch 22 situation for people living in the northern parts of the northern hemisphere.

                                                          • Perineum
                                                            Perineum  2 months back

                                                            Who is Steve?

                                                            • Clay
                                                              Clay  2 months back

                                                              Blew my mind thanks

                                                              • Nathan Jarboe
                                                                Nathan Jarboe  2 months back

                                                                Wait a minute, tops fall over....,

                                                                • Kylo Robb
                                                                  Kylo Robb  2 months back

                                                                  1:01 This drives me crazy. There is a 3 legged mammoth in the painting.

                                                                  • bobby galvin
                                                                    bobby galvin  2 months back

                                                                    Scottish scientist James croll discovered earth cycles before melankovitch but gets no recognition for his discovery

                                                                    • King Miura
                                                                      King Miura  3 months back

                                                                      Avoid the fate of the wooly rhino? What if...what if CO2 was an effect rather than a cause of warming? What about that? I made a prediction....I predicted this video would blame man made CO2 for warming.

                                                                      • Captain Fuzzy
                                                                        Captain Fuzzy  3 months back

                                                                        Maybe it was male pattern baldness? Rogaine could have saved them.

                                                                        • 04vanegas
                                                                          04vanegas  3 months back

                                                                          This explains global warming

                                                                          • Tiffany Nichols
                                                                            Tiffany Nichols  3 months back

                                                                            I watched a documentary on the evidence of T. Rex being a scavenger. I think it would be cool to see a video on that evidence and any counter evidence suggesting that T. Rex was indeed a hunter or possibly both.

                                                                            • Josh Black
                                                                              Josh Black  3 months back

                                                                              Shes talking about them as if they disappear, i thought they just evolved into bald rhinos lmao

                                                                              • Bovine Terror
                                                                                Bovine Terror  3 months back

                                                                                Josh Black no the wooly rhino lineage ended unfortunately. The ones in Africa and Asia evolved separately from the wooly ones but they are very closely related.

                                                                            • Chad Coley
                                                                              Chad Coley  3 months back

                                                                              Ok but what’s happening now is no different than a volcano erupting at the height of one of these cycles. Extinctions have happened throughout Earths history, 5 to be exact, and we are causing the 6th now. But it’s the 6th, not the 1st. I get people want to save the Earth, but that’s assuming she needs or wants to be saved because it’s obvious she’s had 5 failed dates before us...

                                                                              • Sandro
                                                                                Sandro  3 months back

                                                                                This was astonishing! So interesting... Just... Wow!

                                                                                • Jlog D
                                                                                  Jlog D  3 months back

                                                                                  Well the video went off track but at the same time stayed on track hmmmmm

                                                                                  • Jlog D
                                                                                    Jlog D  3 months back

                                                                                    And I don’t remember righting this

                                                                                  • Jlog D
                                                                                    Jlog D  3 months back

                                                                                    Hello me a week from now

                                                                                • Trevor Wagner
                                                                                  Trevor Wagner  3 months back

                                                                                  Aurora borealis?
                                                                                  At this time of year
                                                                                  In this part of the country
                                                                                  Localized entirely in your kitchen!

                                                                                  • MrJeffcoley1
                                                                                    MrJeffcoley1  3 months back

                                                                                    What?! Climate is driven by astronomical factors? But but but what about SUVs, plastic straws and aluminum cans?