Talk:Ice age

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Causes of ice ages[edit]

The lede para for this section isn't as clear as it should be. It needs to be clearer that its talking about ice ages in general, not just the most recent lot William M. Connolley (talk) 11:58, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

"The consensus theory of the scientific community..." Yeah, right. What consensus? I guess that's why his article is locked. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

There is no source for the first paragraph, other than how dinosaur flatulance may have caused the ice age. What about the first few sentences??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Major Ice Ages[edit]

This section does not measure up rhetorically. It starts by saying there have been 5 major ice ages, then meanders all over regarding naming them - identifying one of them as "minor", and inserting hypothetical causes inconsistently. It's more similar to a stream of consciousness than reflecting clear thinking on the matter. It should be rewritten by someone familiar with the subject matter and ability to keep the subject matter foremost and supplementary information subordinate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

This section also starts off by saying "the current ice age" and ends with "we are no longer in an ice age - it ended 10,000 years ago.... but, there is still glacial ice covering Greenland and the poles.." I'm paraphrasing, but this is contradictory. We ARE obviously still at the end of our current ice age. This paragraph is clearly opinion meant to sway people into believing in climate change, and not scientific evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, also in #Negative_feedback_processes the last paragraph about the Nature Geoscience article, it seems to use 'ice age' when it should use 'glaciation'. It also says "...have predicted that the next ice age would usually begin within 1,500 years" - this has got to be wrong; if glaciations happen for 50k years every 100k years, the next one should start about 40k years into the future, not 1.5k years nor 15k years. Even worse if they really mean 'ice age'. (talk) 18:22, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes, this is what happens when different editors mix up appraisals and statements that were made several decades apart, or which rely ultimately on different strata of scientific understanding which are that far apart, and on different models. And when data gleaned from popular books, magazines and original specialized scientific work get mixed up. Few geophysicists active today (or over the last forty years) would say that the next glaciation is likely to happen in 2.000 years time or anything like that; current understanding is more in the realm of at least 40k years into the future, perhaps considerably longer (see Milankovich cycles).
Also, there's been a general shift in the view of how frequent major ice ages are. They used to be seen as very much the exception; a few decades back scientific opinion was that before the very last million of years you had to go back almost 400 million years to find another ice age. But with more knowledge of stratigraphy and paleoatmospheric studies, it's swinging towards a view where ice ages (groups of glaciations and interglacials) are a steadily recurring thing and may have happened a couple of times even in the Cenozoic era. Having a climate like today's mediterranean even in the polar regions is not seen as "the normal thing" over the course of the last 500 million years anymore, though it pretty much was a few decades ago. Strausszek (talk) 11:24, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

No mention of "Icehouse"[edit]

This article surely needs to talk about, or at least link to the article on Greenhouse and icehouse Earth, since an "Ice Age" is only a period within an "Ice House", etc. --Hibernian (talk) 01:45, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Megafauna Paradox Not Mentioned[edit]

The latest BBC tv series Ice Age Beasts features the "elephant in the room" (pun intended) which is the conundrum of how millions of mammoths and other megafauna managed to survive the colder ice age period compared to the interglacial conditions of today. How did grass manage to grow in Siberia where it doesn't grow today? This paradox needs a mention at least, due to it putting the whole ice age theory into question. (P.S. A more common sense idea imv is that Jupiter's 100,000yr cycle increases the Earth's equatorial tidal strength which can even push warm water into the Arctic Basin). (talk) 21:08, 31 May 2013 (UTC) Alan Lowey

Effects of Glaciation[edit]

The orthodox effects of ice age glaciation is assumed in this article, i.e., ice is moving from somewhere to somewhere and is digging, scraping, and gouging the earth's surface to give us the artifacts that we see today. Nowhere is it explained what is forcing the ice to move. Hopefully, in a classroom, it is not assumed from a vertical wall map that ice is flowing "down?" Isn't the force of the assumed movement of primary interest? 3km - 4km (~11,500 feet) thickness of ice greatly exceeds the average elevation differences in most areas of North America. What is the source of force that is pushing the "moving" ice to "dig," "scrape," and "gouge" the land? Hanging a vertical map on a wall simply does not supply the force! — Preceding unsigned comment added by GQuickstad (talkcontribs) 16:25, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Gravity pulls the glaciers downhill (rather than "down the map"). Iapetus (talk) 15:16, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Article clarifications and improvements[edit]

There are a number of changes that would help clarify the area of Ice Age or glaciation in general. These include:

  • This article should not deal with climate change caused by human activities. Ice ages (or glacio-epochs) have been part of Earth history for 3Ga (3 billion years). Human induced climate change is recent and has very little to do with long term glaciation.
  • The summary is very dated and the references are quite old.
  • The summary focuses on recent glacial events (last 2.5 Ma), this is a very small part of the entire history of glaciation. The Pleistocene, holocene, and references to existing ice sheets do not need to be mentioned here.

I hope to update this section soon. Once these changes are in place, further changes in the article will be made. Mark Buchanan (talk) 18:17, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

This article also uses the term 'ice age' for recent glaciations of the Quaternary as well as long term ancient periods of glaciation like the Huronian. I propose changing the wording where 'ice age' is used for Quaternary glacial cycles for better clarity. Mark Buchanan (talk) 22:04, 9 August 2014 (UTC)