Life in the Ice Age

It wasn't exactly a bowl of cherries for the protohumans who endured the last Ice Age. When Neanderthals ranged through Europe, present-day France and Germany were barren tundra and most of the British Isles and Scandinavia were under a sheet of ice more than 1.6km/1 mile thick. Similarly, massive ice sheets ranged as far south as the current US states of Iowa and Illinois. Debris left in the Midwest by departing glaciers now makes for some of the richest agricultural soil on Earth. Thanks to sea levels that were several hundred feet lower, the Aleutian Islands of Alaska formed a land bridge that allowed people to stream across and populate North America.The La Brea tar pits of Los Angeles teem with the skeletons of mammoths, sabre-toothed cats and other creatures that thrived in the sub-tropics. Although Earth probably averaged 3-6°C/5-10°F colder than today during the last Ice Age, the tropics didn't cool down much at all.This means the pole-to-tropic temperature contrasts were heightened, and gigantic storms were probably a regular occurrence close to the margins of the ice.