Can we stop global warming by recreating the kind of mammal-inhabited grasslands of the Ice Age all over the world? We don’t know. The guys behind Pleistocene Park, however, believe it to be one of the most viable ways to really slow down the onset of catastrophic climate change.
Billed as a “proof of concept,” the park is a 20 square kilometer patch of land in Northern Siberia that’s been fenced and transformed into a sprawling grassland currently inhabited by over 70 large herbivores. These animals consist of horses, bison, reindeers, moose, and oxen, which the group hopes will help transform the ecosystem into a high-productivity grassland, similar to the mammoth steppes of the Ice Age.
Pleistocene Park won’t actually do anything to prevent global warming all on its own. However, as a proof of concept, it’s meant to demonstrate how groups around the world can set up their own ecosystems that resemble mammoth steppe biomes, which they believe will stop the continuous melting of the permafrost (and prevent the release of massive levels of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere), all while helping absorb human emissions and reflecting more sunlight energy back into space.
The group behind Pleistocene Park is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money to bring more animals to the park. They’re hoping to populate the park with enough herbivores that they can safely introduce predators like wolves and tigers without damaging the ecosystem.