Just thinking of the possibility of another Ice Age is scary, but the latest weather changes and the unusually hard winter in Europe made me think of this possible scenario. Can it be? I surely hope not! For gardeners it would be the end of our wonderful hobby as we know it, but let's not think of the worst.
This winter has been terrible for us in Romania. We had snow and blizzard, drifts which covered the roads, people stuck in their cars or in their homes in the drifts, snowblowers which didn't work on time, very deep freeze; and then more snow, a more powerful blizzard, higher drifts, freezing rain and, again, much deeper freeze. And then it all started again for the third time, but not as bad as before. The third blizzard wasn't that strong, but the snowfall was heavy and covered the old drifts, growing them bigger. People got scared as this was more than they could handle! It's true that we are used to harsh winters here in Romania, but not that harsh. It would have been nice if the authorities had announced it long before it happened, so people could get ready for the worst. No one said anything about how hard the blizzard would be and how much snow we would receive, or for how long. There was a rumour about having a hard blizzard and snow coming, similar to a storm in 1954, when Bucharest was snowbound in 20 feet of snow, after three days of blizzard and snowfall. The small houses which people had back then, were buried in snow and you could barely see their rooftops. They had to make tunnels between their houses and through the top to get out . We've never had such a hard winter since then, up until now
Yet, we're here, surviving, at least the luckiest of us. Many have died of freeze, especially old and sick people, or people living on the street. The authorities moved slowly and only after the freeze hit did they bother to search for families living in unheated houses, and help them with shelter and food. They were also very late in helping people in the most snowbound villages, where most of the houses were all covered in 20 feet of snow. Many of the people living there are old and sick, and they couldn't get out of their houses for days, until their younger neighbors managed to dig them out using gardening shovels. You can see in these news videos how people in Glodeanu-Silistea village have dug out tunnels. The animals from their farms are also buried under the snow and they are trying to dig them out too.
In Pelinu and Lehliu same snowbound houses. The reportes were bringing bread to the poor people. The dogs from a shelter were saved by volunteers who came from Bucharest.
My family and I are among the fortunate ones: we have a nice house, with a furnace that produces all the heat we want, we have food and water to survive any blizzard. But how can you deal with panic and anxiety caused by so many days of a blizzard blowing as though it could blow the roof off? We experienced power outages in the middle of the night, with the blizzard blowing outside; and tons of snow, gathered in drifts covering the gates and part of the house. We managed to deal with it, but it was hard.
After the worst blizzard, I could see most of my garden covered in huge drifts. The trees were first covered in snow, then in ice, and then in snow again. My friends were worried if they will be fine, especially the conifers. I reassured them that the trees will be fine; they will survive and even if some of their branches will break, they will grow better when spring will come.
Every day in the morning and then at night, I had to dig myself out of the gate and feed the dogs. Then I had to dig them out too from their snowbound doghouses. It wasn't easy, with all the strong blizzard blowing in my face, and it wasn't easy for the dogs either, but they are strong and will survive to this freeze too, if I can help it.
A snow plow came every day, even during the blizzard, and cleaned our street, so we could drive our cars or walk down the street without having to climb the snow drifts. It's true that their effort was almost in vain as long as the blizzard was still blowing. If we weren't ready to get out right after the road was cleared, we couldn't get out until the next day, because the strong blizzard would bring the snow on the road again in no time.
The worst blizzard stopped after the third day. We were snowbound all those days, and couldn't get out of the house unless we had the strength to climb the drifts. My son did that, but my husband and I chose to stay inside and just wait for the blizzard to stop. Only then we started to dig the gate out of the huge drift of snow. It was so depressing to see all the drifts surrounding us, but we had to start shoveling. We could get depressed later!
We didn't get any help from our city, although I called and told them how badly snowbound we were. All the snow plows were out on the streets. We dressed up with our thick clothes, hats, gloves and scarfs and started to shovel. It took six hours to finish shoveling the huge drifts we had inside and outside the gate, but we did it. The freeze that came afterwards was deadly and it froze some of the pipes in our bathroom and kitchen, but we managed to still have running water until my husband used a hairdryer to thaw the frozen pipes. His efforts worked well, and the temperatures began to slowly rise that day.
Scientists are saying this won't be the beginning of the real Ice Age I was afraid of. But we might face much harder winters than this one in the future. Many are laughing at the global warming issue, and say that global warming starting a new Ice Age is hilarious and impossible. They are always searching for political scenarios, but the scientists have given us the most simple explanation eversince 2004 : the global warming causes melting the glaciers from Greenland and Arctic. If enough cold water flushing from the melting glaciers in Greenland and polar ice caps flows into the northern Atlantic, it can shut down the Gulf Stream, or the so-called The Great Conveyor Belt, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. This could cause another ice-age, like several that our planet experienced in the past. Variation in solar activity can warm up or cool down the planet, but in a very small way. 
Others are trying now to explain the recently harsh winter in Europe also through the loss of sea ice due to global warming, in the Arctic Ocean. The ice-free areas in the sea act like a heater as the water is warmer than the artic air above it. This favors the formation of a high-pressure system near the Barents Sea which steers cold air into Europe.  This euronews video shows how harsh winter was throughout Europe:
It's scary, isn't it? This harsh winter we've been living here in Europe scared me too, as well as so many other people.