Woolly mammoths may roam the earth once again, and it could happen within the next two years (so it’s a race between that and a Trump impeachment).

As we all learned from Jurassic Park, you can’t just recreate an extinct animal out of thin air. So Harvard geneticist George Church, the leader of this resurrection, is attempting to splice mammoth DNA into the elephant genome, and lab tests have already shown that cells can function normally with both animals’ DNA together, according to The Telegraph.

Even though the envisioned animal will come from an elephant embryo, Church and his team expect it to have all the recognizable features of a mammoth.

Now, when you hear scientists say they’re bringing the woolly mammoth back after 4,500 years, you may have thought the same thing as me. This poor species has been through enough, and now they’re coming back just in time for climate change to kill them again.

But no!

Church thinks an animal with mammoth DNA could actually help impede climate change.

Here’s how Church explained it, from NBC News:

“By allowing cold resistant elephants or mammoths to repopulate the tundra,” Church says, “they will punch down the snow in wintertime allowing cold air to come in, and in the summertime they’ll knock down trees, which are very absorbent.” This will help the dead grass start to grow, he explains, and slow the release of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere.

“When you simulate this with a real ecosystem in Siberia,” he says, “the temperature drop is 20 degrees, which is really big deal in terms of delaying the release of carbon by melting.”

Bring back Steller’s Sea Cow next, please.


About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.