The scientists discovered a strange climatic anomaly during World War I. They believe that it was the cause of the Spanish flu epidemic and an increase in deaths during the war and in the years after it. Climate anomalies manifested themselves in the form of long torrential rains and unusually low air temperatures. These weather conditions had a significant impact on many of the major battles fought on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918.
Slush and cold played a role in the battles of Verdun and the Somme, during them about one million soldiers and officers were killed and wounded. Climatic anomalies of the period are also attributed to the spread of a strain of flu that was called a Spanish flu, the disease claimed the lives of tens of millions of people in 1917-1919.
And only now the scientists were able to prove that fact. The experts analyzed the composition of the ice core, samples of which were obtained from a glacier in the European Alps. It turned out that in the period from 1914 to 1919 an unusual influx of air from the North Atlantic Ocean was formed. It influenced the weather conditions on the European continent, causing prolonged incessant rain and cold weather.
Clouds and cold temperatures literally hung over the main battlefields. And they also influenced the migration routes of mallard ducks that are the main carriers of the influenza strain. The study showed that due to the bad weather, the ducks remained in the same territory during 1917 and 1918, without migrating, as usual, to Russian territories.
Huge flocks of birds were located near military and civilian settlements, and, possibly, in that way, the infection spread rapidly. These are the conclusions reached by climatologists at the Harvard University.
According to the leading specialist Alexander Mora, the findings helped science to understand the factors that influenced the outcome of the war, making it and the flu epidemic so deadly. The scientists say that blaming the climate anomaly for the outcome of the battles is, of course, contradictory, but the fact that it played a role has been proven.