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Old 20th October 2022, 10:00 AM   #1
Vixen
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Could humans have survived in Ice Age Pockets?

The general theory is that the last ice age, Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM, was about ten thousand years ago and lasted from between ten thousand to fifty thousand years, during which, any human population living in the LGM region - generally known as the Scandinavian Ice Sheet - moved south to warmer climes, until the ice slowly melted and then they moved back some eight thousand years ago.

Could small pockets of human communities have continued to live north of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet (the centre of which at it thickest depth was at the area known today as Sweden's mountainous region)? In other words, is it possible, as some evolutionary scientists have suggested, that there was a whole group of humans who didn't travel south but remained as a separate group for up to fifty thousand years?

To back up this theory, scientists have now discovered that, far from all the trees in Sweden dying during the LGM, many did not die at all, suggesting the environment was sustainable to life.

Quote:
Up to now, most scientists have subscribed to the general view that the advancing ice presented all living things with an ultimatum: Go south or die out!

But now an international research team claims that the glaciations has not been total, and that there must have been some retreats with ice-free areas where trees could survive tens of thousands of years of glaciation.
https://www.dailyscandinavian.com/ice-age-scandinavia/

This is referring to trees but if plant life could live, then so theoretically could some animal life, including humans.

You might say that it would have been too cold to the north of this ice sheet but remember, what are seas and oceans today may have once been dry land before the LGM glaciers melted away. The Baltic was originally a small lake! In addition, temperatures were distributed differently with the north not necessarily always equating to 'the coldest'.

Scientists have calculated likely temperatures during the LGM:

Quote:
Tierney is lead author of a paper published today in Nature that found that the average global temperature of the ice age was 6 degrees Celsius (11 F) cooler than today. For context, the average global temperature of the 20th century was 14 C (57 F).

"In your own personal experience that might not sound like a big difference, but, in fact, it's a huge change," Tierney said.

She and her team also created maps to illustrate how temperature differences varied in specific regions across the globe.
Science Daily Com

So if that was an average 8C or 46F over the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, then it could have been a few degrees warmer the further away people or animals could have got from it, even northwards.



Source of graphic: Britannica
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Old 20th October 2022, 10:21 AM   #2
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Yes, of course. All they needed to do was find a friendly Jotun who was willing to carry them around in his pocket.
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Old 20th October 2022, 10:25 AM   #3
Jack by the hedge
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I have a bit of a mental disconnect between the idea of Swedish trees surviving and a Scandinavian ice sheet 3km thick and persisting for thousands of years.
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Old 20th October 2022, 11:05 AM   #4
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Tree seeds might have been able to survive for long periods under ice sheets - especially static (non-moving) ice sheets that didn't grind up the soil. Then during warm periods as the ice sheets melt back, the seeds germinate and grow and make new seeds, only to be covered over again by ice as the ice ace and ice sheets ebb and flow.

Humans, however, would not survive such an event.

In North America there may have been ice free areas with surviving humans that were north of the ice sheets, or so I have read.

But if a whole area gets covered over, any humans will die if they don't move, and don't germinate from frozen-then-thawed seeds.

ETA: from the article:
Quote:
But now an international research team claims that the glaciations has not been total, and that there must have been some retreats with ice-free areas where trees could survive tens of thousands of years of glaciation.
Unclear writing . "Retreat" as in fall back? Like a period of time where the ice sheets got a bit smaller for a time such that seeds could germinate in some areas?
Or "retreat" like a place of safety? An area that just didn't get iced over at all?

Last edited by crescent; 20th October 2022 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 20th October 2022, 11:12 AM   #5
Horatius
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I have a bit of a mental disconnect between the idea of Swedish trees surviving and a Scandinavian ice sheet 3km thick and persisting for thousands of years.

But we're talking over a span of maybe 50,000 years. It's quite possible that there was some local retreat of the ice sufficient to let a few trees live for a few decades or centuries.

Hell, we saw that with Viking settlements in Greenland. When they first arrived, Greenland, while not actually being "green", had a good enough climate to support at least a half-decent colony. But over a few generations, it got colder, and eventually even marginal colonies were no longer viable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...rse_settlement
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Old 20th October 2022, 11:24 AM   #6
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I expect that humans living thousands of years ago could have lived in ice pockets.

After all, humans are often rather clever at coming up with ways to live in any number of hostile environments.
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Old 21st October 2022, 04:35 AM   #7
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How deep is the Arctic ocean? Hiw much if it's land was exposed when the ocean water was locked uo in ice sheets? Perhaps those Nordics survived by moving north, not south?
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Old 24th October 2022, 07:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I have a bit of a mental disconnect between the idea of Swedish trees surviving and a Scandinavian ice sheet 3km thick and persisting for thousands of years.
I'm sure that forests can advance at least at the speed of a retreating ice sheet. It probably took centuries or millennia to retreat.

Notice that there was also a land bridge between continental Europe and Great Britain:

https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/gl...g-last-ice-age

Doggerland

Quote:
Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the North Sea, that connected Britain to continental Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 65006200 BCE. The flooded land is known as the Dogger Littoral.[1] Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from what is now the east coast of Great Britain to what are now the Netherlands, the western coast of Germany and the Danish peninsula of Jutland.[2] It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period,[3] although rising sea levels gradually reduced it to low-lying islands before its final submergence, possibly following a tsunami caused by the Storegga Slide.[4] Doggerland was named after the Dogger Bank, which in turn was named after 17th-century Dutch fishing boats called doggers.[5]

The archaeological potential of the area was first identified in the early 20th century, and interest intensified in 1931 when a fishing trawler operating east of the Wash dragged up a barbed antler point that was subsequently dated to a time when the area was tundra. Vessels have since dragged up remains of mammoths, lions and other animals, and a few prehistoric tools and weapons.[6]

As of 2020 international teams are continuing a two-year investigation into the submerged landscape of Doggerland using new and traditional archaeo-geophysical techniques, computer simulation, and molecular biology. Evidence gathered allows study of past environments, ecological change, and human transition from hunter-gatherer to farming communities.[7]
With the melting of the ice sheets, the oceans rose, submerging Doggerland under what is now the North Sea.
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Old 24th October 2022, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
I expect that humans living thousands of years ago could have lived in ice pockets.

After all, humans are often rather clever at coming up with ways to live in any number of hostile environments.
Yes, the Saami have always been adept at moving across the continent from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway by reindeer husbandry. Reindeer supplied their warm clothes and meat.
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Old 24th October 2022, 10:09 AM   #10
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Yet I don't think any humans have ever lived in a landscape of deep ice. Reindeer standing on a thousand feet of ice have nothing to eat.

People can live for months on sea ice of course, but they (or other animals they may hunt) have to get through the ice, since fish are the source of food for the whole ecosystem.
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Old 24th October 2022, 06:47 PM   #11
Horatius
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Yet I don't think any humans have ever lived in a landscape of deep ice. Reindeer standing on a thousand feet of ice have nothing to eat.


Well, now I'm wondering: If an ice sheet had been relatively stable for a few hundred years, could it accumulate enough soil from wind-borne dust and the like to develop a minor ecosystem on top of the ice?
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Old 6th November 2022, 02:35 PM   #12
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There has never been an "ice age" on earth, if by that you mean all or most of the earth covered with ice due to some drastic and extended drop in temperature. The ice caps migrate because the earth's orientation changes on a recurring basis.

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