Apr 19, 2019 | Updated: 11:14 AM EDT

Earth Has Been Through Not One But Many Ice Ages

Mar 27, 2017 12:48 AM EDT

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Majority of the Earth's water turns to Ice during the Ice Age.
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An Ice Age is a period of ice formation all around the Earth due to recurring glacial expansion, thus decreasing the temperature of earth’s surface and atmosphere. Recently, a team of scientists has found out the real reason behind the recurrence of ice ages and it’s duration on the face of this planet.

According to Live Science, in the past billion years of its existence, the Earth has experienced almost 25 percent of the years in the form of an ice age. The five major ice ages, as per the scientists, are the Huronian glaciations period (2.4 to 2.1 billion years ago), the Cryogenian glaciations period (720 to 635 million years ago), the Andean-Saharan glaciations period (450 to 420 million years ago), the late Paleozoic ice age (335 to 260 million years ago), and the Quaternary glaciations period (2.7 years ago to present).

The scientists have found that the last ice age having ended almost 11,700 years ago, it is already time for the earth to enter another ice age. But due to the absence two crucial factors that lead to the formation of ice caps related to earth’s orbit, along with the presence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it is not before at least 100000 years that the earth is going to experience another ice age.

According to History Channel, the theory behind the formation of ice age initiated hundreds of years ago. Evidence of plant life under glacial sediment was found, which gave rise to the theory of multiple global winters. Apart from this, orbital tilt and motion of the earth along with solar radiation levels also attributed to the rise of an ice age. Besides, plate tectonic activities are also termed as a major cause behind the initiation of an ice age.

Humans are said to have come into being during the present ice age. Their survival in the extreme conditions was majorly due to their prowess to develop tools and clothes. While animals like mammoths and saber-toothed cats went extinct during this period, the humans survived by the development of agricultural and domestication techniques during the start of the warmer “Holocene epoch”.
Scientists are in the process of explaining fully the mysteries of the ice age. They opine that this will help in understanding both the history of earth’s climatic and determination of future climatic conditions.

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