Related topics: carbon dioxide · climate change · glaciers · climate

The last mammoths died on a remote island

The last woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean; they died out 4,000 years ago within a very short time. An international research team from the Universities of Helsinki and Tübingen and the Russian ...

What a Virginia wildflower can tell us about climate change

When climates change, plants and animals often are forced to colonize new areas—or possibly go extinct. Because the climate is currently changing, biologists are keenly interested in predicting how climate-induced migrations ...

Changes in ice volume control seabed methane emissions

Ice sheet dynamics of the past likely caused fault movements in the Earth's crust, resulting in seabed methane release in ~1200 m water depth offshore Svalbard, an archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic.

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Ice age

The general term "ice age" or, more precisely, "glacial age" denotes a geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in an expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Within a long-term ice age, individual pulses of extra cold climate are termed "glaciations". Glaciologically, ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres; by this definition we are still in an ice age (because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist).

More colloquially, when speaking of the last few thousand years, "the" ice age refers to the most recent colder period (or freezing period) with extensive ice sheets over the North American and Eurasian continents: in this sense, the most recent ice age peaked, in its Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000 years ago. This article will use the term ice age in the former, glaciological, sense: glacials for colder periods during ice ages and interglacials for the warmer periods.

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