When Was The Last Ice Age?
The Ice Age refers to a geological period when the Earth’s climate experienced long-term cooling resulting in the expansion of ice sheets glaciers. It is characterized by alternating periods of glaciation known as glacial episodes warmer interglacial periods. The last Ice Age also known as the Last Glacial Maximum was a significant event in the Earth’s history.
What defines an Ice Age?
An Ice Age is commonly recognized as a period when the average temperature of the Earth’s surface atmosphere significantly dropped causing substantial ice sheets glaciers to grow. The presence of long-lasting glaciation in various regions of the Earth particularly in the northern southern latitudes is a typical hallmark of an Ice Age.
How long ago was the last Ice Age?
The last Ice Age occurred between approximately 110000 12000 years ago. It is important to note that the duration intensity of the Ice Age varied geographically different regions experienced glaciation at different times.
The Last Glacial Maximum
The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is the period that marks the peak of the last Ice Age. It is estimated to have occurred around 26500 to 19000 years ago. During this time ice sheets covered a significant portion of North America Europe Asia. Sea levels were much lower as a significant amount of water was locked up in the ice sheets.
Effects of the last Ice Age
The last Ice Age had a profound impact on the Earth’s landscape climate ecosystems. The extensive ice sheets carved out deep valleys shaped the topography of many regions. As the climate gradually warmed the melting ice sheets caused sea levels to rise flooding coastal areas. The retreat of glaciers also led to changes in the distribution of plant animal species.
End of the Ice Age
The last Ice Age gradually came to an end around 12000 years ago transitioning into the current Holocene epoch characterized by relatively stable warm climatic conditions. The exact causes of the termination of the Ice Age are still a subject of scientific research but factors such as changes in Earth’s orbit variations in atmospheric composition feedback mechanisms within the climate system are believed to have played significant roles.
The last Ice Age which occurred between 110000 12000 years ago had a profound influence on the Earth’s climate shaping the planet’s landscapes ecosystems for thousands of years. The Last Glacial Maximum marked the peak of this glacial period during which ice sheets covered much of North America Europe Asia. The end of the Ice Age ushered in the current Holocene epoch providing a stable environment for the development of human civilizations.