How to survive climate change? The clues are buried in the arctic.

Sea ice melts off the beach of Barrow, Alaska, where Operation IceBridge is based for its summer 2016 campaign.

How to survive climate change? The clues are buried in the arctic.

We are on the white land bridge, which has a woolly mammoth 20,000 years ago. Today, the land is covered with fresh green grass and tiny shrubs.

But there are some strange things – bright white objects protruding from the ground.

As I approached the archaeologist Owen mason, he told me what they were.

“Right there, it’s a whale scapula,” said mason, pointing to a bone about the size of a German shepherd.

It’s not just the bones we see. Looking closely at the ground, I found the relics scattered around us.

“It’s here, it’s a Ulu knife,” he said, as he picked up a flat stone. “It’s a knife that’s been used to cut animal meat for 300 years.”

There is a sled runner, pottery shards, and even remnants of ancient cooking oil.

Buried beneath the tundra is a secret seaside community that has been preserved in frozen soil for 1,000 years.

Beneath the green grass of the ruistar whale site lies the remains of an old seaside village.

Cape Espenberg Birnirk project.

Under the grass, says mason, “there are at least 50 to 60 houses, or even 70 houses, but this is just on this ridge.”

In these families, he says, are clues to how ancient people survived climate change.

“Would you like to see one of the houses? Ask mason of the university of Colorado at boulder.

He took me to a huge hole in the ground where the scientists were digging a 1,000-year-old cabin on their knees.

“The level of work to build this house – that’s great,” said Claire alix, an archaeologist at the university of pantheon and the university of Alaska Fairbanks.

This is true. This house is an impressive beach house. It has at least three rooms, including a kitchen, on multiple levels, possibly to prevent cold and keep the house warm in winter. The floors and walls are made of beautiful trunks.

The white land bridge national monument in Alaska is an archaeological dig.

Google maps

“Look at the size of these logs,” exclaimed Alix. “They’re big.”

Over the next few weeks, the team hopes to recover more than 1, 000 artifacts from home – arrows, fur, bones and even clothing – 1,000 years old.

The archaeologist Lauren Norman gently picked up a small piece of very soft cloth and said, “it’s leather, very thick leather.” “Cool.”

As the artifacts appeared one by one, I quickly realized that these ancient arctic people are very much like us today.

They were dressed in leather. They may have dogs. “Big dog, yes,” said Norman. They have tattoos and follow strict gluten-free diets – seals, reindeer, fish and birds. They like to make bone broth.

“During this time, people boiled bones to remove grease,” Norman said. “they ate it or put it in soup.”

These people have something in common with us today, said Owen mason, whose climate is undergoing tremendous changes.

“It’s called the medieval climate anomaly,” he said. “This seems to be a unique era in climate history.

Scientists are not sure why – perhaps solar output changes; There may be volcanoes involved – but for some reason the world’s climate ceased to exist 1,000 years ago. Some parts of the world are warming like Europe.

“The vineyards spread all the way to England,” Mr. Mason said.

But other parts, such as the Middle East and the North Pole, are getting colder and colder.

“There’s a glacier expansion here, and there’s really a huge storm at this point,” Mr. Mason said.

The world is changing fast. “I like to think of it as climate chaos,” he said. The family living in the family had to find a way to adapt.

“One of these things just happened today,” Mr. Mason said. “This Paula.”


Mason says it’s basically a heavy load tied up with a piece of string. It is a powerful weapon for hunting birds. Swing the weight around and throw them into the air. You can kill the birds in flight.

That sounds simple enough. But mason believes this may be the key to survival.

“Catching birds in flight seems to be a very effective hunting tool,” he said. So, with Paula, families can supplement their diets with more birds when other food sources disappear due to climate change.

“The device appears to be in the age of climate change,” Mr. Mason said.

Another innovation, Mr. Mason says, came at the same time: “scarred.”

This device is crazy. It is basically a small nail that is specifically designed to clog up the wounds of dead animals. Why is that?

“You are sealing the injured seal in order to keep the blood and not lose it when the animal is brought back to the camp,” Mr. Mason said. “This gives you valuable information about nutrients.”

To live in the arctic, people need to become technical experts. They have a little tool for everything. Seriously, they will make silicon valley geeks ashamed of their innovations.

So when climate change threatens their food supply, they create solutions.

“Technology and innovation follow climate challenges and animal requirements,” Mr. Mason said. “This is a direct or indirect concern of arctic archaeologists.”

This trend has occurred many times in human history. The ability of people to create new tools helps them survive rapid changes in the environment.

The idea is a bit of a contradiction for us. If you think about it, technology is the number one reason to get rid of the current climate mess.

Can it be the key to getting us out of it?

Bill Gates thinks so. “We need to adapt to climate change that has affected the planet and develop new tools to prevent problems from becoming more serious,” he wrote on his blog. “Innovation is the key to two things.” (as our readers know, the gates foundation is the sponsor of NPR and the blog.)

But Dennis o ‘rourke, an anthropologist at the university of Kansas, says that we can learn another survival strategy from ancient people in the arctic, who is helping to dig.

He took me to the beach to show me the evidence.

“If we go west right now, between 200 and 250 miles, you’re near the bering strait and Russia,” O ‘rourke said, pointing to the sea.

Now there is water separating us from Russia. But twenty thousand years ago, there was something to keep people away from North America: glaciers.

“Glaciers prevent people from entering the continent east or south,” O ‘rourke said.

But then another climate change began to warm up. The glacier began to melt and reveal the land.

“Then people have the opportunity to move into new areas,” he said. “They can travel down the coast and across the interior and eventually spread across the continent.

So, in a sense, what is climate change that allows people to migrate to North America?

“Yes, in a way,” O ‘rourke said. “Climate change may limit people’s behaviour, and it may provide an opportunity – a chance to enter a new field.”

And then you start to wonder what we will find in this climate change process. Where are we left? Maybe we must say goodbye to the earth.


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