Interesting facts about the Ice Age
Ice Ages that occurred more than once on this planet have always been covered with a mass of puzzles. We know that they are shrouded in cold whole continents, turning them into uninhabited tundra. It is also known about 11 such periods, and they all were a regular consistency. However, a lot of them, we still do not know. We offer you to get acquainted with the most interesting facts about the ice ages of our past.
The giant animals
By the time they arrived the last ice age, during the evolution of mammals have already appeared. Animals that can survive in the harsh climatic conditions were quite large, and their bodies were covered with a thick layer of fur.
Scientists have named these creatures "megafauna" which was able to survive at low temperatures in areas covered by ice, for example in the area of modern Tibet. Smaller animals can not adapt to the new conditions of glaciation and died.
Herbivore representatives of megafauna learned to find their own food even under layers of ice and could in many ways to adapt to the environment: for example, rhinoceros ice age had shovel-like horns, by which dug snow drifts.
Carnivorous animals such as saber-toothed cats, giant short-faced bear and the dire wolf, survived well in the new environment. Although their production is sometimes able to fight back due to its large size, it was in abundance.
People Ice Age
Despite the fact that modern man Homo sapiens could not boast while large in size and coat, he was able to survive in the cold tundra of ice ages over many millennia.
The living conditions were harsh, but people are creative. For example, 15 thousand years ago, they lived in tribes, who were hunters and gatherers, the original homes built from the bones of mammoths, sewing warm clothing from animal skins. When food was plentiful, they did stocks in permafrost - a natural freezer.
In the main hunting used such tools as stone knives and arrows. To catch and kill large animals of the Ice Age, it was necessary to use special traps. When the animal was caught in such a trap, a group of people attacked him and beaten to death.
Little Ice Age
sometimes there were small and large intervals between ice ages. We can not say that they were devastating, but also caused a famine, disease due to crop failures and other problems.
The most recent of these little ice ages began about 12-14 centuries. The most difficult time can be called the period from 1500 to 1850 years. At this time, in the northern hemisphere there was a sufficiently low temperature.
In Europe, it was commonplace when frozen sea and in mountainous areas, for example, on the territory of modern Switzerland, the snow did not melt even in summer. Cold weather has an impact on every aspect of life and culture. Probably the Middle Ages remained in history as the "time of troubles" and still because the world was dominated by the Little Ice Age.
Some glacial periods actually are quite warm. Despite the fact that the surface of the earth was shrouded in ice, the weather is relatively warm established.
Sometimes planet atmosphere flocked sufficiently large amount of carbon dioxide, which is the cause of the greenhouse effect, when the heat is held in the atmosphere and warm the planet. In this case the ice continues to form and to reflect the sun's rays back into space.
According to experts, this phenomenon led to the formation of a giant desert of ice on the surface, but it is quite warm weather.
When will the next ice age?
The theory that ice ages occur on our planet at regular intervals, is at odds with the theories of global warming. There is no doubt that today there is a widespread climate warming, which may help prevent the next ice age.
Human activity leads to the release of carbon dioxide, which is mostly to blame for global warming. However, this gas has still a strange side effect. According to researchers from the University of Cambridge, CO2 emissions can stop the next ice age.
According to the planetary cycles of our planet, I will soon have to come next ice age, but it can only take place if the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be relatively low. However, the current CO2 levels are so great, that about any ice age in the near future can not be considered.
Even if a person abruptly stops the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which is unlikely), the existing number will be enough to prevent the onset of an ice age for at least a thousand years.
Plants ice age
The easiest way to ice age lived predators: they could always find food. But what's really eating herbivores?
It turns out that for these animals was enough food. During the ice age on the planet has grown a lot of plants that could survive the harsh conditions. Steppe terrain covered with bushes and grass, which feeds on the mammoths and other herbivores.
Larger plants can also be found a great number of, for example, grew in abundance of spruce and pine. In warmer areas there are birch and willow. That is the climate in the long run many of today's southern regions resembled the one that today there is in Siberia. However, plants glacial period differed from the modern. Of course, in cold weather, many plants have become extinct. If the plant was not able to adapt to the new climate, he had two choices: either to move to more southerly areas, or perish.
For example, now the state of Victoria in southern Australia, there is the rich diversity of plant species on the planet, until it was a glacial period, which resulted in most species died.
The cause of the Ice Age in the Himalayas?
It turns out, the Himalayas, the highest mountain system of the planet, are directly linked to the onset of an ice age.
40-50 million years ago, land masses, which now has China and India are facing, forming the highest mountains. As a result of the collision were exposed huge amounts of "fresh" rocks from the Earth.
These rocks have been eroded and as a result of chemical reactions in the atmosphere has become supplanted by carbon dioxide. The climate on the planet began to become cooler, came the Ice Age.
In times of various ice ages, our planet has been mostly shrouded in ice and snow only in part. Even during the most severe ice age ice covered only a third of the globe.
However, there is a hypothesis that in certain periods the Earth was still completely covered with snow, which made her look like a giant snowball. Life still managed to survive thanks to a rare islands with a relatively small amount of ice and with enough light for photosynthesis.
According to this theory, our planet is turning into a snowball at least once, more precisely 716 million years ago.
The Garden of Eden
Some scientists believe that the Garden of Eden, as described in the Bible really existed. It is believed that he was in Africa, and it is thanks to him that our ancestors were able to survive during the Ice Age.
Approximately 200 thousand years ago, came the severe ice age, which put an end to many forms of life. Fortunately, a small group of people managed to survive the intense cold. These people have moved to the area where South Africa is today.
Despite the fact that the ice cover almost the entire planet, the area remained free of ice. Here lived a large number of living beings. The soils of the area are rich in nutrients, so there was an abundance of plants. By the nature of the cave used by humans and animals as shelters. For living beings, it was paradise.
According to some scholars, in the "Garden of Eden" lived not more than a hundred people, which is why there is such a person is not of genetic diversity, as in most other species. However, this theory has not found scientific evidence.