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 • 1 221

  • 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  2 months back

      Great Channel Nonetheless.!!

    • Dacoda Strack
      Dacoda Strack  3 months back

      @Tom Tyler you need to relax

  • Gr8 bAnD1t0
    Gr8 bAnD1t0  4 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  3 weeks back

        host is fantastic I really do enjoy listening to her voice

        • PrincessTS01
          PrincessTS01  3 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  4 weeks 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  1 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  1 months back

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

                          • Chris Djernaes
                            Chris Djernaes  1 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!

                                      • Wuihhh Kyuuut
                                        Wuihhh Kyuuut  2 months back

                                        Why sunlight more powerful?

                                        • 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  2 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?

                                                                            • Rev. Lowe
                                                                              Rev. Lowe  3 months back

                                                                              This lady has perfect hips and thighs.

                                                                              • valor36az
                                                                                valor36az  3 months back

                                                                                Best description on the topic

                                                                                • Luke Brunner
                                                                                  Luke Brunner  3 months back

                                                                                  I wanna get the Eontologist: Video Shoutout tier. Any idea when more will be added?

                                                                                  • Teykel Meeka
                                                                                    Teykel Meeka  3 months back

                                                                                    Awww wooly rhinos are so darn cute 💔