Icehouse or Greenhouse?

I got this rather concise geological history of Ice Ages from Paul Handovers blog “Learning from Dogs” post called “Nature is in Charge!”

The BBCs radio presentation of “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg is fascinating as he interviews Professors from the University of Leeds, Cardiff University and Oxford University on Ice Ages…


Jane Francis, Richard Corfield and Carrie Lear join Melvyn Bragg to discuss ice ages, periods when a reduction in the surface temperature of the Earth has resulted in ice sheets at the Poles. Although the term ‘ice age’ is commonly associated with prehistoric eras when much of northern Europe was covered in ice, we are in fact currently in an ice age which began up to 40 million years ago. Geological evidence indicates that there have been several in the Earth’s history, although their precise cause is not known. Ice ages have had profound effects on the geography and biology of our planet.


Jane Francis
Professor of Paleoclimatology at the University of Leeds

Richard Corfield
Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University

Carrie Lear
Senior Lecturer in Palaeoceanography at Cardiff University.

Producer: Thomas Morris

It tends to make one amazed at how many cycles our Earth has gone through to get us to where we are today.  It seems easy for these geologists to throw millions of years around when considering the glaciation or warming of the planet.  The only issue is mankind has gotten to where it is today based on their amazing adaptability only to find ourselves on the brink of sinking our cities through anthropocentric activities that are melting our ice caps.  We will definitely have to adapt more in the future!

Arctic sea ice extent on 12 September 2012, in white, compared with the 1979-2000 median, marked with a red line.

Arctic sea ice extent on 12 September 2012, in white, compared with the 1979-2000 median, marked with a red line.


About rsingram

Environmental Specialist, Disaster Reservist, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Para-Archeologist
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