The How the Ice Age worked.



How did the Ice Age work?

Global warming certainly has become a hot topic these days as people are becoming more conscientious about reducing greenhouse gases and saving on electricity and water. It’s been said that if we do not start to take better care of our environment, than what we know as global warming will actually result in another Ice Age. Although the term “Ice Age” brings to the minds of many people pictures of an entire world covered with ice, some don’t know how it actually happened. And although there have been many Ice Ages on Earth, when people speak of it, they are generally referring to the latest Ice Age, which occurred just a little more than 100,000 years ago.

When people first began to notice evidence that this Ice Age had occurred, they attributed it to the massive flood that covered the entire Earth. This is the same flood that is mentioned in The Bible. The evidence consisted of huge boulders that appeared in areas where no boulders should be, piles of rocks and debris laying all over Earth and scratches and markings on the sides of mountains. The largest piece of evidence still lies in Wisconsin and is known as the Wisconsin Glaciation. However, in Switzerland, there was a scientist named Louis Agassiz, who believed that there was more to this evidence than just the flood. He presented his ideas about a period when the Earth was frozen. His scientist colleagues dismissed the idea as ludicrous. Although Agassiz was on to something, he was not entirely correct in his ideas. He believed that the Earth was frozen all at once, and that this freezing may have been the result of a terrible happening on Earth. However, undeterred by his colleague’s disbelief, Agassiz went ahead in trying to prove that the Ice Age ever happened. And it is in great part due to this Swiss scientist that we know today how the Ice Age worked.

The first element of the Ice Age that Agassiz, and other scientists like him, studied were the glaciers. They began by looking at the glaciers in the Jura Mountain range in Switzerland. Within these mountains were boulders that had come from the Alps, a mountain range that was over fifty miles away. These boulders helped to explain the glaciers that covered most of North America and Europe, and it was this finding that helped to greatly explain the Ice Age. The boulders helped the scientists to develop an explanation because some of the rocks were smooth while others showed many layers within them. There were also indentations on the sides of mountains and it was from these indentations and rocks that scientists were able to determine just how thick the glaciers and the sheets of ice that covered the Earth were. Their findings showed that the glacier and sheets of ice could have been as much as one mile thick.

The scientists also study the activity of the glaciers to determine how much of the Earth was covered in ice and how much ice was needed to cover that much of the Earth. These finding showed that approximately one-third of the world was covered and seventeen cubic miles of ice was what covered it. Specifically, the areas that were covered were the entire country of Canada, central United States, Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, and the western regions of Russia. They also found that Antarctica, which was already one massive sheet of ice, held approximately ten percent more than it does today. The most surprising finding was that ten million square miles of North America was covered in glaciers, approximately thirteen times what there is today. But the water had to come from somewhere to form these glaciers and the oceans were the source of that water. Because so much of the ocean’s water was going to form glaciers, sea levels dipped to 350 to 400 feet of what they normally are.

However, these glaciers did not stay in one place. Some have attributed to their motion to that of bulldozers, as they move up and then move back, leaving in their wake huge piles of rocks and other debris that breaks off from glaciers as they move. This glacial movement caused arctic deserts to form in the areas surrounding the glaciers and this meant that although the ice didn’t actually cover everything on Earth, they certainly affected every aspect of the planet. Winds were also very great and this wind caused dust, which is known as loess, to cover the land.


the Ice Age.

 The How the Ice Age worked of the Ice Age.

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