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Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:


In this engrossing and accessible book, Doug Macdougall explores the causes and effects of ice ages that have gripped our planet throughout its history, from the earliest known glaciation (nearly three billion years ago) to the present. Following the development of scientific ideas about these dramatic events, Macdougall traces the lives of many of the brilliant and intriguing characters who have contributed to the evolving understanding of how ice ages come about. As it explains how the great Pleistocene Ice Age has shaped the earth's landscape and influenced the course of human evolution, Frozen Earth also provides a fascinating look at how science is done, how the excitement of discovery drives scientists to explore and investigate, and how timing and chance play a part in the acceptance of new scientific ideas.

Macdougall describes the awesome power of cataclysmic floods that marked the melting of the glaciers of the Pleistocene Ice Age. He probes the chilling evidence for "Snowball Earth," an episode far back in the earth's past that may have seen our planet encased in ice from pole to pole. He discusses the accumulating evidence from deep-sea sediment cores, as well as ice cores from Greenland and the Antarctic, that suggests fast-changing ice age climates may have directly impacted the evolution of our species and the course of human migration and civilization. Frozen Earth also chronicles how the concept of the ice age has gripped the imagination of scientists for almost two centuries. It offers an absorbing consideration of how current studies of Pleistocene climate may help us understand earth's future climate changes, including the question of when the next glacial interval will occur.

Synopsis:

"This is a highly readable account of the nature of ice ages throughout earth's history and the evolution of their scientific understanding since the introduction of the term by Louis Agassiz in the 1830s. The shifts in opinion on the merits of the various explanations of ice ages traced by Macdougall make fascinating reading."--Roger Barry, Director, National Snow and Ice Data Center

"Frozen Earth is a thorough and compelling account of the history of ice on earth and of the scientists who uncovered the extraordinary role that ice ages have played in shaping our world."--Gabrielle Walker, author of Snowball Earth

"A fascinating and important read."--Jack Repcheck, author of The Man Who Found Time

"Macdougall takes us on a fascinating journey through the realm of ice age science. He deciphers some of the basic mysteries of the bitter climatic regimes that have gripped the earth in the past and will probably grip it again in the future. This engrossing book has important lessons for anyone concerned with global warming and future climatic change."--Brian Fagan, author of The Little Ice Age

About the Author

Doug Macdougall is Professor of Earth Science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is the author of A Short History of Planet Earth: Mountains, Mammals, Fire and Ice (1996).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

1. Ice, Ice Ages, and Our Planet's Climate History

2. Fire, Water, and God

3. Glaciers and Fossil Fish

4. The Evidence

5. Searching for the Cause of Ice Ages

6. Defrosting Earth

7. The Ice Age Cycles

8. Our Planet's Icy Past

9. Coring for the Details

10. Ice Ages, Climate, and Evolution

11. The Last Millennium

12. Ice Ages and the Future

Suggestions for Further Reading

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520248243
Subtitle:
The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages
Author:
Macdougall, Doug
Author:
Macdougall, Douglas
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Climatic changes
Subject:
Climatology
Subject:
Glacial epoch
Subject:
General Nature
Subject:
Geology
Subject:
Physics-Meteorology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
267
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.63 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Reference » Science Reference » Meterorology
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages Used Trade Paper
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$17.00 In Stock
Product details 267 pages University of California Press - English 9780520248243 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"This is a highly readable account of the nature of ice ages throughout earth's history and the evolution of their scientific understanding since the introduction of the term by Louis Agassiz in the 1830s. The shifts in opinion on the merits of the various explanations of ice ages traced by Macdougall make fascinating reading."--Roger Barry, Director, National Snow and Ice Data Center

"Frozen Earth is a thorough and compelling account of the history of ice on earth and of the scientists who uncovered the extraordinary role that ice ages have played in shaping our world."--Gabrielle Walker, author of Snowball Earth

"A fascinating and important read."--Jack Repcheck, author of The Man Who Found Time

"Macdougall takes us on a fascinating journey through the realm of ice age science. He deciphers some of the basic mysteries of the bitter climatic regimes that have gripped the earth in the past and will probably grip it again in the future. This engrossing book has important lessons for anyone concerned with global warming and future climatic change."--Brian Fagan, author of The Little Ice Age

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