Meet Lyuba

Written by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Lyuba, of course, is the name bestowed upon the baby mammoth that was found a few years ago in the western Siberian tundra. The baby woolly mammoth is thought to be around 40,000 years old (by now) and is thought to have died by drowning at the age of two months.

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What’s so remarkable is Lyuba’s state of preservation, almost life-like, with skin and (sparse) hair fully intact. That kind of find is most uncommon.

Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) remnants have been found at many places in Siberia but rarely in that state of preservation. Apart from a sudden death, the female calf must have been buried soon by sediment and/or frozen quickly to become that well preserved. In any case, the permafrost has kept Lyuba and others from decomposing for a few ten thousands of years.

Lyuba’s Discovery & Travels

According to CBC, Lyuba was named after the wife of Siberian herder Yuri Khudi who recognized it as an important find of a mammoth calf in 2007 after it had been discovered by others, sold, and displayed at nearby locales in the Yamal Pensinsula . Since then Lyuba was stationed at theShemonovskiy Museum, in the Tyumen Region of Russia.

Lyuba’s travels since her discovery are equally astounding—who knew that mammoths could travel that far? Hong Kong, Chicago, London, etc. were already on its itinerary. By now, Lyuba is traveling the world (in the form of a replica) and from early June to December this year, Lyuba’s plastic “double” will be exhibited at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia, thereafter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. No doubt, it will attract a large crowd everywhere it goes on display.

While many people may look at the display with sorrow about a world long gone (Lyuba does look rather innocent indeed), it’s a reminder of several truths—some of which may be inconvenient to those accustomed to seeing the world in “rose-colored glasses.”

Rose-colored Glasses

Seeing the world in rose-colored glasses is an expression for optimism, regardless of the odds for achievement or success. Professional gamblers know the exact odds for any combination of the dice, cards, or other odds in games of chance. However, nature and life are often more complex, with hidden or unforeseen events that turn all common statistics upside down.

Of course, being “on the right side of the statistics” is never a guarantee of winning the “hand” anyway. You could be right on all statistical accounts and still lose your shirt. In simple terms, statistics may be right in the long (or very long, or extremely long) term but it does not guarantee the next hand in a game of chance. Life is no different.

Life is not different

Life and death can be close. One moment it’s exuberance, in the next it’s disaster. That’s nature.

The question you might ask is: What can we learn from Lyuba’s brief life in the tundra? The answer may surprise you: Human-made (aka “anthropogenic”) “Climate Change” is a crock of …!

First: As a species, the mammoths flourished well for 35,000 or so years after Lyuba’s untimely demise.  At that time the northern hemisphere was in the grip of glaciation. From east of Alaska across North America, Europe, and Asia, there was ice galore—and more in the making. Global temperatures continued to drop until nature changed course, approximately 20,000 years ago.

That’s when it got slowly warmer in those northern latitudes—but not because of the camp fires lit by some of our long-ago ancestors that may have caused increased carbon dioxide levels in the air, far from it. The world-wide cold had simply run its course and the SUN was getting into a new phase of radiating more energy.

Second: Without the sun’s constant supply of radiant energy to the earth it would rapidly turn into a giant ice-cube, us included, faster than you could say “it’s cold.” Even if mankind had any influence on just local weather and climate conditions, they could, at most, be miniscule in comparison to the sun’s energy flux keeping the earth from turning into solid ice. Last month’s cold snap in much of Europe caused significant losses in fruit growing regions, stretching from Italy’s southern fringe to the east, west, and north into France and Belgium.

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If anything, our use of carbon-based fuels may prolong the time interval to the next global ice age. However, the current sparsity of sunspots (“spotless” as of June 26, 2016) portends the arrival of a new “Grand Solar Minimum” coming on fast, see picture close by.

There’s even some evidence for correlations (never to be equated with causation) of such low sunspot periods with earthquakes and volcanic activities on this planet.

Just hope that the current interglacial period will last for a few more decades to come. Anything else would spell disaster for much of mankind!

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