The Mammoth died out in the “Middle Holocene”. Mostly about 10,000 to 4,000 years ago. (quotes from the wiki)
Until recently, it was generally assumed that the last woolly mammoths vanished from Europe and southern Siberia about 10,000 BC, but new findings show that some were still present there about 8,000 BC. Only slightly later, the woolly mammoths also disappeared from continental northern Siberia. A small population survived on St. Paul Island, Alaska, up until 3,750 BC, and the small mammoths of Wrangel Island survived until 1,650 BC.
Yet we find frozen mammoth meat as the permafrost melts. There are stories of natives and explorers finding frozen mammoths as the glaciers melted and retreated.
From the wiki:
There is an estimate of 150 million mammoth remains in Russia’s Siberian permafrost, which covers a vast sparsely inhabited area. Some of the remains are frozen complete, others in pieces of bone, tusk, tissue and wool, from less than a metre to 1 km below ground.
Recently an intact baby mammoth was extracted from intact permafrost.
In May 2007, the carcass of a one-month-old female woolly mammoth calf was discovered in a layer of permafrost near the Yuribei River in Russia, where it had been buried for 37,000 years.
This has two interesting facts about it, when it comes to “global warming”.
1) It is now warmer than it has been since those animals were frozen into the permafrost and / or covered in ice and snow. We have been warming since that point.
2) It was warmer then. (or they could not have gotten into the ice in the first place.)
These animals need a LOT of vegetation to live. They do not live on ice sheets. They live where their is enough green growth to support a herd of very massive animals. It was warmer, and it was greener.
And there was no ‘tipping point’. And there was no man made CO2 causing the planet to be warmer then.
There is only a natural variation in the weather that causes extreme changes from time to time and that made it a warm pleasant place to live when we came out of the last glacial event, then made it cold and frozen again, and only now has gotten close to the earlier warmth (but not close enough to have freed all the frozen mammoths.)
There are stories of folks eating mammoth meat from earlier frozen mammoths as they were found. We’ve been in a deep freeze for a long time, but it was clearly warmer when the mammoth meat was put into that freezer…
Just like Otze, the Ice Man, found under a glacier in the Alps as it retreated. It does mean that it is warmer now than before the glacier melted; but it also means that it was warmer 5000 years ago when he fell, mortally wounded by an arrow. Then the snows began to fall preserving him. Just as they had done to mammoths earlier.
So next time you are having a steak, take a moment to think about Mammoth Meat and what it means. That we have been warmer in the not too distant past. Even during the Holocene when Otze was crossing the Alps.
We are only now coming out of the freezer to where we have been before.