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Fri, 30 Oct 2020
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Hourglass

Not guilty! We did not kill the Neanderthals - ice age wiped them out, say scientists

Neanderthal man

Struggled: Neanderthal man, like above, fared worse than we thought during the Ice Age, according to experts
Neanderthals were not wiped out by humans - and faced extinction even before our ancestors migrated to Europe, according to scientists.

Debunking long-held claims that we introduced disease or brutally murdered them, researchers say our rival species was more likely to have succumbed to the Ice Age.

Only a small band survived that catastrophe which began 50,000 years ago, according to experts at Uppsala University analysing fossils in northern Spain.

They believe the last of the few perished 30,000 years ago after they were unable to deal with the brutal climate.

Our ancestors, who came from the east 40,000 years ago, however, were better suited to the cold conditions and weathered the storms.

Dr Love Dalén said: 'The fact that Neanderthals in Europe were nearly extinct, but then recovered, and that all this took place long before they came into contact with modern humans came as a complete surprise to us.

Snowflake

Why Britain Could Face Years of Arctic Winters Because of Dramatic Decline in Arctic Sea Ice

There is less Arctic sea ice now than there has been at any time in the past 1,450 years

Britain is facing years of freezing winters because of the dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice, say scientists.

Global warming means autumn levels of sea ice have dropped by almost 30 per cent since 1979 - but this is likely to trigger more frequent cold snaps such as those that brought blizzards to the UK earlier this month.

And Arctic sea ice could be to blame.

Image
© Associated Press
Cold facts: A reduction in Arctic ice is being blamed for increasingly severe winters in the Northern Hemisphere.

Igloo

Just in time for the ice age! Ancient plant brought back to life after being buried by squirrels in Siberian permafrost more than 30,000 years ago

As far a flowering pot plants go, the Silene stenophylla plant sitting in a corner of a Russian laboratory will not win many awards. The one award it will win, however, is pretty impressive: The most ancient, viable, multi-cellular, living organism on Earth.

The Silene stenophylla was brought back to life using seeds buried by squirrels in Siberian permafrost more than 30,000 years ago. The seeds have been held in suspended animation by the cold, which has served as a 'frozen gene pool', scientists say.
Image
© National News and Pictures
Still growing strong: After 30,500 years buried in permanently frozen soil, the Silene stenophylla bore fruit and bloomed petite white flowers

Igloo

Russia: Freeze Kills Rare Pelicans in Dagestan

Pelicans
© Gurizada Kamalova

Rare Dalmatian pelicans, a threatened species, are dying of cold and hunger amid freezing weather in Russia's usually warm Dagestan, where the birds are currently wintering.

Temperatures of minus 20-30 degrees Celsius have swept Russia's southern latitudes, coating the Caspian Sea in a thick layer of sea ice. Some 500 Dalmatian pelicans out of the total population in Russia of about 1,400 were forced to take refuge at a shipyard on the Caspian Sea near Dagestan's capital Makhachkala.

According to information from the Dagestansky Nature Preserve, about 16 pelicans have died from hunger and cold on the Caspian shores of Dagestan.

An adult Dalmatian pelican requires at least 2.5 kg of fish daily, but the giant birds are unable to feed themselves from the ice-covered sea.

Snowflake

Russian Scientist: New Ice Age to Begin in 2014

Image
Forecasters predict that a new ice age will begin soon. Habibullo Abdusamatov, a scientist from the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences considers that the sharp drop in temperature will start on the Earth in 2014.

According to the scientist, our planet began to "get cold" in the 1990s. The new ice age will last at least two centuries, with its peak in 2055.

It is interesting, that the same date was chosen by the supporters of the theory of global warming. According to them, in 2055 the Earth will start to "boil".

The expected decrease in temperature may have to become the fifth over the past nine centuries, reports Hydrometeorological Center of Russia. Experts call this phenomenon the "little ice age", it was observed in the XII, XV, XVII, XIX centuries. This cyclicity makes the theory of upcoming cold weather in XXI century look like truth.

Source: vmdaily.ru

Igloo

Cold Winter Kills at Least 40 in Afghanistan

Kabul Snow Storm
© AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq
An Afghan man, his head covered with his scarf, walks down the street during a snowstorm in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012.
Kabul - More than 40 people, most of them children, have frozen to death in what has been Afghanistan's coldest winter in years, an Afghan health official said Monday.

The government has recorded 41 deaths from freezing in three provinces - Kabul, Ghor and Badakhshan, said Health Ministry spokesman Ghulam Sakhi Kargar.

All but three or four of those deaths were children, he said. Twenty-four of the deaths were in the capital of Kabul, mostly in camps for people who have fled fighting elsewhere in the country.

Kabul has been experiencing its worst cold snap and heaviest snowfall in 15 years, according to the National Weather Center.

Snowflake

Ukraine's death toll from cold spell reaches 151

In most cases, people died because they were under the influence of alcohol, which increases the risk of hypothermia
Image
© Anatolii Stepanov/Reuters
People spend time in a snow-covered park in Kiev Feb. 16, 2012.
Kiev - Health officials say 151 people have died in the Ukraine during Eastern Europe's record-breaking cold spell, with alcohol regularly a contributing factor. The health ministry said Thursday that nearly 4,000 others have been hospitalized with hypothermia and frostbite.

Emergency officials say in 90 percent of cases, people died because they were under the influence of alcohol, which increases the risk of hypothermia and generally decreases a person's ability to feel and respond to the cold. The cold spell has prompted authorities to close nurseries, schools and colleges across the country. Heavy snowfalls have also caused power outages and trapped hundreds of vehicles on motorways in southern Ukraine, as well as several ships in the Sea of Azov.

Bizarro Earth

Take A Look: A Venice Canal...Frozen

Frozen Venice
© mesebar2/flickr
On Feb. 6, 2012, Venice's famed canals were choked with ice.
This winter has been an odd one so far in Italy. Earlier in February, Rome saw a surprisingly heavily snowfall. Later in the month, Venice's famous canals froze, as seen in the above picture.

Until this past weekend, much of North America -- except for Alaska -- has enjoyed a mild winter. The return of La Niña, a naturally occurring climate phenomenon featuring cooler-than-average Pacific Ocean temperatures that influences global weather patterns, has pushed the jet stream north, which is partly to blame for Alaska's snowy winter. But in the European region, the effects of La Niña are relatively weak and variable, according to the Met Office, the UK's weather service.

Regardless, cold air pouring southward into southern and eastern Europe has created a brutal winter. The cold has been blamed for tens to hundreds of deaths, according to news reports.

Snowflake

Emergency food flown into stranded European towns

Image
© Vladimir Gogic/AP
A Serbian police helicopter delivers food to sailors stuck on stranded boats on the Danube river near Smederevo, Serbia, on Monday, Feb. 13.
Bucharest, Romania - Military planes and police helicopters flew in tons of emergency food to snowbound villages and ships in the Balkans on Monday, after blizzards so fierce that some people had to cut tunnels through 15 feet (4 meters) of snow to get out of their homes.

Since the end of January, Eastern Europe has been pummeled by a record-breaking cold snap and the heaviest snowfall in recent memory. Hundreds of people, many of them homeless, have died in the bitter cold and tens of thousands have been trapped by blocked roads inside homes with little heat.

Authorities declared a state of emergency Monday in eastern Romania, where 6,000 people have been cut off for days. About a dozen major roads were closed, 300 trains canceled and more than 1,000 schools shut down.

In addition to the flights, the defense ministry also sent 8,000 soldiers out clearing roads across Romania and helping those trapped by the overwhelming snow.

Emergency officials in Serbia used helicopters to deliver food and evacuate sailors stuck on icebound boats on the Danube river near the town of Smederevo. They also resupplied a Danube island near Pancevo, north of the capital of Belgrade.

Igloo

Europe: Snow blocks in tens of thousands as cold death toll rises

A man walks between cars covered with snow in Podgorica.
© AFP/Savo Prelevic
A man walks between cars covered with snow in Podgorica.
Snow drifts reaching up to rooftops kept tens of thousands of villagers prisoners in their own homes Saturday as the death toll from Europe's big freeze rose past 550.

More heavy snow fell on the Balkans and in Italy, while the Danube river, already closed to shipping for hundreds of kilometres (miles) because of thick ice, froze over in Bulgaria for the first time in 27 years.

Montenegro's capital of Podgorica was brought to a standstill by snow 50 centimetres (20 inches) deep, a 50-year record, closing the city's airport and halting rail services to Serbia because of an avalanche.

Eight more people were reported to have died in Romania, taking the toll for the country to 65, three in Serbia, one in the Czech Republic and one in Austria.

Polish fire brigade spokesman Pawel Fratcak said Saturday that defective heating had triggered a spate of deadly blazes in houses and apartments, with eight people killed on Friday night and three the night before.