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Sherlock

Ice Age Migration? New DNA study suggests people moved between continents before recorded history

Image
© Unknown
Early man: A third of people in modern Europe show genetic traces of populations from sub-Saharan Africa, leading researchers to conclude that people migrated between the continents as early as 11,000 years ago.
People moved between Africa and Europe long before recorded history - and the migrations might have been driven by Europeans moving south to 'weather' ice ages.

The genetic traces of long-forgotten migrations from Africa to Europe live on in Europeans today.

A third of the genetic traces of sub-Saharan lineages in today's Europe come from prehistory.

Researchers think that Europeans 'pushed south' by glaciers might have met with populations from sub-Saharan Africa.

People moved between the continents as early as 11,000 years ago.

Geneticists used mitochondrial DNA to look for the traces of ancient migrations.

Mitochondrial DNA is passed directly from mother to child with no DNA from the father - and tiny changes in the sequence come to 'characterise' different populations, which can be used to trace movements and migrations of groups of humans in the past.

Large numbers of people moved between Africa and Europe during recent and well-documented time periods such as the Roman Empire, the Arab conquest, and the slave trade - but the researchers found that a third of sub-Saharan lineages came from before these movements.

'It was very surprising to find that more than 35 percent of the sub-Saharan lineages in Europe arrived during a period that ranged from more than 11,000 years ago to the Roman Empire times,' said Dr. Antonio Salas of the University of Santiago de Compostela and senior author of the study.

Igloo

Ice Age Next? - Bering Sea Teeming with Ice

Ice Age
© NASA image by Rob Simmon based on data from Jeff Schmaltz
Acquired March 19, 2012.

For most of the winter of 2011 - 2012, the Bering Sea has been choking with sea ice. Though ice obviously forms there every year, the cover has been unusually extensive this season. In fact, the past several months have included the second highest ice extent in the satellite record for the Bering Sea region, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

The natural-color image above shows the Bering Sea and the coasts of Alaska and northeastern Siberia on March 19, 2012. The image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. Black lines mark the coastlines, many of which have ice shelves or frozen bays extending beyond the land borders.

NSIDC data indicate that ice extent in the Bering Sea for most of this winter has been between 20 to 30 percent above the 1979 to 2000 average. February 2012 had the highest ice extent for the area since satellite records started. As of March 16, National Weather Service forecasters noted that all of the ice cover in the Bering Sea was first year ice, much of it new and thin - which is typical in the Bering Sea

The accumulation of ice this season has largely been fueled by persistent northerly winds blowing from the Arctic Ocean across the Bering Strait. The local winter weather has been dominated by low-pressure systems - with their counterclockwise circulation - that have brought extensive moisture up from the south to coastal and interior Alaska, while sending cold winds down across the sea to the west.

Snowflake

Alaska's largest city eyes snow record

elk,snow
© AP Photo/Rachel D'Oro
In this Thursday, March 15, 2012, photo, a juvenile moose is dwarfed by deep snow in Anchorage, Alaska. The state's largest city is 3.3 inches away from breaking its record snowfall of 132.6 inches that was set in the winter of 1954-55.
Anchorage, Alaska -- A near-record snowfall this winter has buried Anchorage neighborhoods, turning streets into snow-walled canyons and even collapsing some roofs.

But some residents are hoping for more, at least another 3.3 inches. Then they could say they made it through the winter when the nearly 60-year record of 132.6 inches was broken.

"I want it destroyed," resident Melissa Blair said. "I want to see another foot and knock that record out of the park."

Igloo

On the Footsteps of Climate Change: The Ice Age Cometh to Podgorica, Montenegro

Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro. Montenegro is situated on the southern Balkan Peninsula connected with the Adriatic Sea. In Podgorica, we have modified Mediterranean climate with warm dry summers and mild winters. Podgorica is particularly known for its exceptionally hot summers: temperatures above 40 ° C. The highest recorded temperature of 45.8 ° C measured on 16 August 2007. The snow is almost an unknown event in Podgorica. This winter the situation is completely different in Podgorica and especially the Northern part of Montenegro is blocked by snow, unprecedented in the last half century.


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

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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.