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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
So, rather than call for arbitrary limits on carbon dioxide emissions, perhaps the best thing the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the climatology community in general, could do is to spend their efforts on determining the optimal range of carbon dioxide needed to extend the current interglacial period indefinitely.
alpinus became reduced and fragmented during the latest interglacial period. The process of fragmentation of the species suitable habitat was probably gradual.
The team found that while the ice sheet elevation fluctuated, there was evidence of persistent ice sheet conditions for 1.4 million years, a discovery demonstrating that at least a sizeable ice sheet survived several warm interglacial periods.
It is not surprising that many Quaternary geoscientists consider them to be sources of the most comprehensive data for tracing environmental changes on the continent through the series of glacial and interglacial periods. The sections are mostly located within the limits of the most extensive ice sheets--Don (MIS 16) and Dnieper (MIS 6) ones--and in the periglacial zone of the Valdai/Weichselian and some previous glaciations (Fig.
True Evidence suggests temperatures during past interglacial periods sometimes exceeded today's averages, in some cases for at least several thousand years.
Knowledge of the climate of past interglacial periods is essential for our understanding of current climate and the forces driving global change.
These are long periods of time during which the climate varies between colder glacial periods--when sheets of ice cover large parts of Earth's surface--and warmer interglacial periods.
We have been through several previous interglacial periods when our latitude became subtropical.
The heavy isotope of oxygen ([sup.18] 0) is preferentially enriched in seawater relative to ice, so glacial periods are characterised by higher [sup.18] O in the oceans than during interglacial periods like the present.
Ocean water, meanwhile, became significantly heavier during glacial periods because of the removal and storage of low-[sup.18]O ice on the continents, and the shells of marine organisms that formed during those times contain greater concentrations of [sup.18]O than those formed during interglacial periods.
The relatively recent geological past (the last 1.6 million years), known as the Quaternary period, is characterized by large climatic swings from ice age to warmer interglacial periods similar to the present one.