The Holocene denying, global warming hysteriacs have not listened carefully to the testimony of the Iceman, that poor soul whose body was found on top of an Italian Mountain Sept. 19, 1991. Otzi, as he has come to be known, clearly tells us that the Alps were clear of ice, or nearly clear when this man met his death high in the Alps. The body was found in a snow-covered depression, sticking out of snow and ice by two hikers. The amazing thing was the body was in near perfect condition, and this says loads about the conditions on that mountain 5000 years ago when Otzi walked the earth.
Why? Because normally when a human or animal body falls into a glacier or is covered with snow that turns into a glacier, the body is ground apart into tiny pieces and spread over a large area. This process can happen very rapidly, and was used as a reason, initially, to doubt that Otzi was as old as he is (dating proves he is about 5000 years old). About 400 years ago, a mercenary fell into the glacier in Theodul Pass. When 400 years later, his body parts began to appear on the surface of the glacier, he became known as the Theodul Pass Mercenary. The discoverers thought they were picking up a coconut only to find it was a human skull with hair still attached. The rest of the body was found over an area of 30 x 225 feet, ground into little pieces by the movement of the ice. In 1988, parts of what became known as the Porchabella glacier sheperdess, began appearing over an area of 20 acres. This is what happens to a body in a glacier.
But Otzi escaped this fate. How? Well, it seems that when he died, the glacier wasn't there. He took his last refuge in a small ditch, probably to get out of the wind, and died in that nearly ice-free gully. The snow and eventually glaciers came later, covering him, but because he was in the depression, the movement of the ice went on above him, and didn't grind him to powder. Here is what Konrad Spindler says. Notice the last sentence.
"From these considerations, and bearing in mind the topography of the site, we may conclude that in the Iceman's lifetime climatic conditions were similar to those prevailing at present. The gully in the rock must then, as in Sept 1991, have been wholly or largely clear of snow and ice, with mean annual temperatures of about 0.5o Centigrade above the longterm average. During the known warm intervals of the roman period from the third to the fourth century, or those of the Middle Ages from the ninth to the tenth century, the ice at Hauslabjoch certainly did not melt to the present extent. Either precipitation was less then or it was less warm than today.
"The state of preservation of the corpse is so good that the man must have been covered by snow while he was dying or immediately after his death, without subsequently ever resurfacing. If the snow remained cold and dry for some time, and hence permeable to air, temporary dry-freezing would be conceivable given the terrain's exposure to wind. Of course, the body did not dehydrate entirely. That some of the body fluid remained was effectively demonstrated when the corpse thawed out completely in the dissection room of the Forensic Medicine Institute and could again be manipulated. totally desiccated mummified bodies, by contrast are feather-light and break if one tries to bend them."
"Patzelt's expert statements on the prehistoric climate show that glacier recession and warming-up occurred in the Holocene period of geological history quite independently of the man-made greenhouse effect. Although present-day climatic conditions show a persistent warm phase, they keep entirely within the post-glacial fluctuation range." Konrad Spindler, The Man in the Ice, (London: Phoenix, 2001), p. 55
In other words, the Holocene deniers don't tell you that long before there were autos, the earth was as warm then as it is now.