The Great Ice Age documents and explains the natural climatic and palaeoecologic changes that have occurred during the past 2.6 million years, outlining the emergence and global impact of our species during this period. Exploring a wide range of records of climate change, the authors demonstrate the interconnectivity of the components of the Earths climate system, show how the evidence for such change is obtained, and explain some of the problems in collecting and dating proxy climate data.
One of the most dramatic aspects of humanity's rise is that it coincided with the beginnings of major environmental changes and a mass extinction that has the pace, and maybe magnitude, of those in the far-off past that stemmed from climate, geological and occasionally extraterrestrial events. This book reveals that anthropogenic effects on the world are not merely modern matters but date back perhaps a million years or more.
Table of Contents
Cycles of Climate Change: Evidence and Explanations. 1. The Great Ice Age. 2. Understanding Present and Past Climates. 3. Understanding the Cryosphere. 4. The Deep Sea Record. 5. Revealing the Milankovich Pacemaker. 6. Evidence for Rapid Climate Change. 7. Explanations. Human Origins, Evolution and Environmental Change 8. Climate Change and Life On Land. 9. The Record of Humanity. 10. Changing Environments and Changing Habits. 11. Human Impact During the Holocene.
'A useful synthesis of information and ideas on environmental change in the last 3 million years.' - Dr Antoinette Mannion, Reading University
'A very clear and concise update of our present state of knowledge on long term climate and environmental change - perfect primer for advanced courses and essential reading for introductory geography and earth science courses.' - Dr D. J. A. Evans, Glasgow University