Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1986 - Science - 224 pages
6 Reviews

This book tells the exciting story of the ice ages--what they were like, why they occurred, and when the next one is due. The solution to the ice age mystery originated when the National Science Foundation organized the CLIMAP project to study changes in the earth's climate over the past 700,000 years. One of the goals was to produce a map of the earth during the last ice age. Scientists examined cores of sediment from the Indian Ocean bed and deciphered a continuous history for the past 500,000 years. Their work ultimately confirmed the theory that the earth's irregular orbital motions account for the bizarre climatic changes which bring on ice ages.

This is a tale of scientific discovery and the colorful people who participated: Louis Agassiz, the young Swiss naturalist whose geological studies first convinced scientists that the earth has recently passed through an ice age; the Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric but respected Oxford professor who fought so hard against the ice-age theory before accepting it; James Croll, a Scots mechanic who educated himself as a scientist and first formulated the astronomic theory of ice ages; Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian mathematician who gave the astronomic theory its firm quantitative foundation; and the many other astronomers, geochemists, geologists, paleontologists, and geophysicists who have been engaged for nearly a century and a half in the pressing search for a solution to the ice-age mystery.

  

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Review: Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery

User Review  - Al - Goodreads

Really well researched material on a very important theory for the future of our climate. A thoroughly exciting read, this is almost fiction in the beautiful way with which it tells the story of the ... Read full review

Review: Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery

User Review  - Bob Gustafson - Goodreads

I think that this book is very good. It tells the story of how the scientific community zeroes in on an answer to a question, in this case, "why did ice ages occur when they did?" He begins with an ... Read full review

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Contents

Louis Agassiz and the Glacial Theory
19
The Triumph of the Glacial Theory
33
Exploring the IceAge World
47
The IceAge Problem
61
Birth of the Astronomical Theory
69
The Astronomical Theory of James Croll
77
Debate Over Crolls Theory
89
Through Distant Worlds and Times
97
Pulsebeat of Climate
153
Climatic history recorded in a Czechoslovakian brickyard
155
The 100000year pulse of climate
157
Pacemaker of the Ice Ages
161
The Rosetta Stone of late Pleistocene climate
165
Climate of the past halfmillion years
169
Changes in eccentricity tilt and precession
170
Spectrum of climatic variation over the past halfmillion years
171

The Milankovitch Controversy
113
Theoretical succession of European ice ages
116
Eberls test of the Milankovitch theory
118
Fluctuations of the icesheet margin between Indiana and Quebec
122
The Deep and the Past
123
Fossil from the deepsea floor
130
Succession of Caribbean ice ages according to Ericson and Emiliani
132
Pleistocene Temperatures
135
Milankovitch Revival
141
Reef terraces on New Guinea
145
Astronomical theory of Barbados sea levels
146
Signal from the Earth
147
Magnetic history of the earth
150
The Coming Ice Age
177
Climate of the past 10000 years
179
Climate of the past 100 years
180
Climate of the past 1000 years
181
The Argentiere glacier today and in 1850
182
Climatic forecast to the year A I 2100
185
Climatic forecast of the next 25000 years
186
The Last Billion Years of Climate
189
The last billion vears of climate
190
Chronology of Discovery
195
SUGGESTED READING
203
INDEX
215
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