We are now looking at a time just 30 000 years ago. Over the last 50 million years the earth had slowly become cooler, with the onset of the Ice Ages at around three million years ago. The climate roller coasted between cold glacial periods and warmer interglacial periods with almost 50 glacial periods so far. At 30 000 years ago, it seemed that there was a change in the earths orbit, taking the earth even further away from the sun, making this an exceptionally cold glacial period. There was so much water locked up as ice that the sea levels were so low, that where the North Sea now lies there was no sea, but rather grassy steppes. These plains in Northern Europe supported a lot of animals during the warmer summer months, when the snow had melted and the grass had become green. Further south the vegetation changed to more deciduous woodlands extending into the valleys of the lower Alps.