You may Thank your Ice Age ancestors for resisting Cold Weather

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 5th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Weather

How do you deal with the cold? This winter has been a long and hard one, yet if your ancestors hail from northern climates then you should be able to deal with the weather better than people from more tropical climates. My son has both genes within his blood, maybe this is good news, but maybe it is bad.

Long Hard Winter

If you live in the northern hemisphere then I think we can all agree this has been a long hard winter and whether or not the weather forecast has been accurate or not will not change the weather we are experiencing at the moment, the snow has been really tough to live with. Apparently if your ancestors lived in the frozen north during the Ice Age then you should have an advantage against the cold, it sounds as if that works for me, but will not help my wife whose family hails from tropical climates.

These are the findings of a team of geneticists led by Dr. Wallace of the University of California in Irvine indicate that having ancestors who lived in northern climates predisposes many people to better handle the cold, they have found many genetic mutations that are still evident in many people from northern European origins it also helps Native Americans who stem from North Asian or Siberian origins, but this trait is absent in people whose ancestry remained longer in tropical climates, such as Africa, India or tropical Asia.

For this winter however it is a question of how many more cold fronts we have to face.

Theories

Perhaps this University of California study works alongside a theory I have had for many years, which is that those who were born during winter months have greater resistance to cold weather, it is a theory that I have used to explain why I can withstand the cold to a greater extent than many people I know (he says having just run out to the car in a pullover with an outdoor temperature below -13 Celsius), given my birth date is in November. People who have birthdays during summer months and of course I have known many seem to find cold winters an exceptional challenge one work colleague from long ago (in England) was born on mid-summer's day and as soon as the temperature dropped below 5 degrees Celsius she would be sitting in the office, with two or three cardigans on, shivering I doubt she would like it here in Canada much this winter where we have faced the coldest temperatures I have ever experienced.

My wife on the other hand was born in the tropics (in Mombasa Kenya), had parents whose ancestors hail from tropical or sub-tropical lands (the lands of India, Afghanistan, and Pursia) yet she is handling the cold of this winter, she hates it but is surviving. Of course her tropical past makes her desire to be walking down a tropical beach somewhere, but she is not the only one, we all need a break, we all need a change and the tropical beach would be be just what the doctor ordered, even if he is not around to sign the sick note (probably lounging in a tropical spa of his own).

Ancestors???

Should we thank our ancestors or curse them? I have to wonder if my northern ancestry would work against me if I lived in tropical climates, would I yearn once again for the cold of winter or would I just be pleased to leave the coat in the cupboard, it is not possible to know but many English people have discovered warm climates and stayed away forever.

Right now the weather outside feels like the ice age again, but soon, we pray, winter will be gone and the glorious summer sunshine will be here and this summer is going to be HOT!

But then the flip side of this is that the theory could all be bogus.

Dealing wih the Cold!

How you will have been affected by the cold will differ for everyone but don't worry the cold weather will soon be gone and we will be changing seasons and forget this season (until the next time).

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Tags

Ancestors, Cold Weather, Coldest Temperatures, Deal With The Cold, Ice Age, Long Hard Winter, Weather, Winter

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Marie Seltenrych
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Hi Peter, very interesting topic and I send you a hug from sunny Queensland, Australia, where it is beautiful and warm even in Winter. I was born in bleak Ireland, in April (Spring) and although I love Springtime, I found the cold weather unbearable from October to March, so hibernated in my maxi-coat.
Even though the days can be hot here, and humid, I still love the heat more than the cold. We lived in Canberra, A.C.T. and I hated the weather there (much cooler than Queensland). We do live near a beach where we can cool off by walking 4 minutes. Near the beach is always a bit cooler. Also, despite menopause and hot flushes (flashes) I still prefer the heat to the cold, but love the mid-seasons, so maybe your theory is right: I was born in the Northern Hemisphere Spring (Autumn here).
Let's be thankful to be alive and well, stay warm and be cool and just live to love. Thank you for posting, and Mark, thanks for being the moderator. Well done.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
6th Mar 2014 (#)

I guess that is what Australia and California have in common. This has been a hard winter for the Eastern seaboard, but in California there is still a drought. Here in Canada we have a short spring and short autumn, yet this year there may be piles of snow to be found in July.

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author avatar spirited
5th Mar 2014 (#)

good post Peter,

some of us don't like the hot or the cold, like me. I prefer an even clime all year round...LOL

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Yes most people do, but often those places with even climates have other challenges (earthquakes, hurricanes etc).

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author avatar Retired
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Interesting article Peter. I have lived in the tropics for more than thirty years. Right now I am exactly on the equator. One of the reasons I left the UK was the depressing weather. With regard to survival in extreme conditions, I have worked in the desert around Alice Springs - 42 degrees Celsius in the daytime and very cold at night, and in Europe I once rode a motorcycle 220 km in heavy snow and a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius. We may not find extreme conditions comfortable, but we can survive.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
5th Mar 2014 (#)

I can understand why you might make such a move, such a move may be in our future, you never know.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Mar 2014 (#)

Growing up in cold, frigid New England, as a kid I set my sights on sunny California and moved here at 29. I hate the cold. I shiver when it gets below 68F.

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author avatar Kingwell
5th Mar 2014 (#)

With the Atlantic Ocean at my door I also have the wind chill to deal with. Looking forward to spring. Great post Peter

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author avatar Ptrikha
6th Mar 2014 (#)

When we from india go to countries like England, we find the cold more difficult to manage than the natives. Yet, the difference is not that big. Yet, if we were to go to Ladakh in our own country or Siberia, we would shiver much more. Similarly, Russians or people from very cold countries coming to India in May/June would find it very difficult to roam around in scorching 40 plus celsius.
Yet, it seems that players adopt to changing weather much faster.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Sir, When I went to India it was higher than 45 degrees Celsius, but at the time I had just returned from spending a year in Arabia at 50 degrees plus.

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