Ice Age

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Ice Age:

see Pleistocene epochPleistocene epoch
, 6th epoch of the Cenozoic era of geologic time (see Geologic Timescale, table). According to a classification that considered its deposits to have been formed by the biblical great flood, the epoch was originally called the Quaternary.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ice Age


a relatively long stage in the geological history of the earth during which, against the background of a general relative cooling of the climate, there was repeated alternation of very cold intervals of time (glacials), when extensive continental glaciation occurred, and intervals of time with a warmer climate (interglacials), when a significant part of the continental ice melted. Ice ages have been established in the Lower Proterozoic in North America; in the Upper Riphean in Africa and Australia; in the Wend in Europe, Asia, and North America; in the Ordovician of Africa; and at the end of the Carboniferous and the beginning of the Permian on the continent of Gondwana. The ice age of the Pleistocene has been studied most.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ice age

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A major interval of geologic time during which extensive ice sheets (continental glaciers) formed over many parts of the world.

Ice Age

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McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Colinvaux carries readers along on his adventure to uncover the Amazon's ice-age mysteries--chronicling events, endeavors and emotions every step of the way.
When MacAyeal feeds rough estimates of ice-age atmospheric conditions into his binge-purge model, the Laurentide ice sheet produces Heinrich events 10,000 years apart, on average, in rough agreement with the actual cycle.
It might seem tempting to look for answers in the vagaries of Earth's orbit, a favorite explanation for the long-term ice-age cycle, and indeed some investigators are trying that path.
Those seeking answers to the ice-age problem may have to shift their attention away from the polar regions toward warmer climes.
If such work reveals a general pattern of ice-age cooling, it would solve a problem that has plagued climate researchers for more than a decade, says Rind.
For the answers they need, however, paleoceanographers must return to the lowly animals and plants of the sea, which harbor within their shells hints of the ice-age climate.
Many suggest there was something about the ice-age Earth that allowed the climate to jump between two different states by redirecting atmospheric and perhaps oceanic circulation patterns.
But comparisons between an ice age and the present may be unwarranted because today's oceans may be much more stable than their ice-age counterparts, says David Peel of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, who is working on GRIP.
Using sediment cores from the Antarctic Ocean floor, they studied the glassy remains of ice-age algae called diatoms.