Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery by John Imbrie

By John Imbrie

This booklet tells the interesting tale of the ice ages--what they have been like, why they happened, and whilst the subsequent one is due. the answer to the ice age secret originated while the nationwide technological know-how starting place geared up the CLIMAP undertaking to check alterations within the earth's weather over the last 700,000 years. one of many pursuits was once to supply a map of the earth over the last ice age. Scientists tested cores of sediment from the Indian Ocean mattress and deciphered a continuing background for the earlier 500,000 years. Their paintings finally proven the idea that the earth's abnormal orbital motions account for the weird climatic alterations which bring about ice ages.

This is a story of medical discovery and the colourful those who participated: Louis Agassiz, the younger Swiss naturalist whose geological stories first confident scientists that the earth has lately undergone an ice age; the Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric yet revered Oxford professor who fought so not easy opposed to the ice-age idea earlier than accepting it; James Croll, a Scots mechanic who proficient himself as a scientist and primary formulated the astronomic idea of ice a long time; Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian mathematician who gave the astronomic thought its enterprise quantitative origin; and the various different astronomers, geochemists, geologists, paleontologists, and geophysicists who've been engaged for almost a century and a part within the urgent look for an answer to the ice-age mystery.

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Near the equator, the imbalance tends to raise the temperature. Land and sea surfaces there absorb much of the incoming radiation, days are long, and the sun is high in the sky. Near the poles, on the other hand, there is a net loss of heat because the ice and snow that are present there reflect much ofthe sun's energy. In addition, the sun's angle is low at these high latitudes. Unless processes other than reflection and radiation were at work, the poles would grow colder each year and the equator hotter.

Buckland subscribed to the traditional view that floodwaters alone were sufficient to account for the diluvium (as it was termed by those who believed in this theory). In part, Buckland leaned towards this view because it accorded well with the biblical record. He was also convinced that this record was supported by evidence contained in the sediments themselves. In 1821 a large number of strange bones had been discovered in a cavern in the Vale of Pickering. On hearing of this discovery, Buckland immediately traveled to Yorkshire to investigate.

But no evidence of such a rise has been found. Instead, the onset of the ice age saw a steady lowering of sea level (as explained in Chapter 3). Furthermore, a floating layer of ice like the one described above would leave a distinctive deposit on the sea floor when it melted. The fact that no such deposit has been found further discredits the theory. Another theory based on variations within the earth's climate system was proposed by two scientists from Columbia University's Lamont Geological Observatory, Maurice Ewing and William Donn, in 1956.

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