The Great Ice Age: Climate Change and Life

Front Cover
The Great Ice Age documents and explains the natural climatic and palaeoecologic changes that have occurred during the past 2.6 million years, outlining the emergence and global impact of our species during this period. Exploring a wide range of records of climate change, the authors demonstrate the interconnectivity of the components of the Earths climate system, show how the evidence for such change is obtained, and explain some of the problems in collecting and dating proxy climate data.
One of the most dramatic aspects of humanity's rise is that it coincided with the beginnings of major environmental changes and a mass extinction that has the pace, and maybe magnitude, of those in the far-off past that stemmed from climate, geological and occasionally extraterrestrial events. This book reveals that anthropogenic effects on the world are not merely modern matters but date back perhaps a million years or more.
 

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Contents

THE GREAT ICE AGE
3
UNDERSTANDING PRESENT AND PAST CLIMATES
30
UNDERSTANDING THE CRYOSPHERE
49
THE DEEP SEA RECORD
67
REVEALING THE MILANKOVICH PACEMAKER
83
The record in ice sheets
99
Further reading
112
Millennial scale events in the loess record
131
Over the threshold
146
Further reading
159
THE RECORD OF HUMANITY
187
CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS AND CHANGING HABITS
214
HUMAN IMPACT DURING THE HOLOCENE
236
List of figure sources
253
Index
260
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