Ice Age Theories

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1991 Words
Date:  2021-03-10

Great herbivore dinosaurs were living on the earth. They were eating tasty ferns and palm-like cycads at the same time angrier and smaller carnivores were hunting big herbivores, oceans were full of squid, fish and coiled ammonites and great long-necked plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. Vertebrates were flying here and there in the air like the first birds and pterosaur. All that creatures lived during the Jurassic Period and it was before the ice age and ice age extinction. Before the ice age period, it was the period of time with the richest flora and fauna, there were a lot of different species on the earth and it was the richest time of nature triumph.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Ice age is a period of time that leads to the reduction of the world temperature that causes nature and species changes. The ice age was the period of time when the global temperature characterized recurring expansion of glacial period on the Earth's surface. It is possible that it lasted for a few hundred millions of years. These periods of time are diversified with regular interstadial warmer intervals during which only one major ice sheet was present. The Earth is at the middle of the ice age and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets stay complete despite of the temperate temperatures. Ice age was the age of changes, cold temperature wiped some species off from the surface of the Earth and it seemed like a bignatural clean from one kind of life, making a space for another kind of life. That period of time caused dramatic changes that had big influence on the whole history of mankind. According to Carey (2010), glaciers can reshape different landscapes by eroding rocks and soil in the course of their push with the weight depressing the crust of the earth. Meanwhile, temperatures drop in ice-cliffs adjacent areas as plant life is driven to Southern latitudes (Carey). Further information indicates that drops in sea levels enable rivers to carve deeper valleys on inland surfaces. Previously submerged land masses thus appear between continents. Glaciers that have left behind a lot of sediment and unfilled basins melt and also create new lakes. It is well known that there were several ice age periods on the Earth.

As stated by Grubb (1999), scientists have recorded up to five major ice age periods in the history of the earth, namely the Huronian, Cryogenian, Andean-Saharan, Karoo ad the Quaternary. Furthermore, up to a dozen different glaciations have occurred in the last 1 million years. The largest such glaciations occurred 650,000 years and lasted 50,000 years (Grubb). Additional scientific study have pointed to the fact the most recent glaciation is the one referred to as the ice age reached peak conditions 18,000 years ago. Thereafter, the interglacial Holocene epoch began about 11700 years ago (Patten).

How does the Earth look like during the ice age? What happened then? We can find clear answers to these questions in Grubb's book that provide us with really interesting facts and data. The most recent glaciation saw ice sheets grow up to 12,000 feet spreading across Russia, Scandinavia, Canada and South America. The corresponding sea level suffered a 400-foot plunge while global temperatures fell ten degrees Fahrenheit. In some areas, the temperature drop was up to 40 degrees. The Gulf Coast region that was previously characterized by pine forests and grasses are now characteristic of the Northern States and Canada. During the ice age happened another important event that changed Earth history and that influenced on the Earth and surrounding. The most significant incident in the ice age was the development of the Homo sapiens species (Heng). Humans were able to adapt to harsh climatic conditions by developing various tools of adaptation. These tools included bone needles for sewing warm clothes and bridges for migration. By the start of the Holocene epoch, humans took advantage by developing agricultural techniques of farming and domestication. Concurrently, the prevalent species including saber-toothed cats, sloths and other mega-fauna that were common during the glacial period were extinct.

The ice age was the most dramatic period for one part of creates and the important kick for another. Mega-fauna lived alongside human beings in the Ice Age. However, with the persistence of the human race, they became extinct. Previous theories attributed this extinction to the impact of an asteroid on the earth's surface. However, recent research has removed the possibility of the ending of the ice age altogether. There are different ideas and theories what could lead to the ice age. The National Academy of Science found evidence supporting the particular impact theory. This evidence was largely based on nano-diamonds. The suggestion is that the impact the size of an asteroid would have caused different carbon atoms to change into nano-diamonds. The failure to find these diamonds means that the ice age ending assertion is not true (Carey).

The most well-known theory that explains the ice age is the theory of asteroid impact. Probably the most widely known theory, the asteroid impact theory maintains that a meteorite roughly the size of the Isle of Wight crashed into the Earth's surface, 65 million years ago. The impact triggered a series of powerful earthquakes and forest fires, as well as a number of continental landslides (Heng).One of the theories that The super volcano theory argues that the asteroid impact was merely a prelude to a number of volcanic eruptions that occurred in an area in India named the Deccan Traps(Stinger). This theory is not so famous but it looks like reality of those days, Flowering plants known as angiosperms arose around 65 million years ago, which could have created a mass allergic reaction among dinosaurs. This isn't very likely. Flowering plants were around for millions of years before the dinosaurs disappeared and we have no evidence whatsoever that their pollen was capable of killing the dinosaurs. There are several not so well known hypotheses like: The belief that mammals ate dinosaur eggs, driving them to extinction is also unsupported. Could the dinosaurs have grown so big and heavy that they couldn't move, defend themselves or withstand their own weight? Towards the end of the Cretaceous period, land bridges opened up between places such as Asia and North America, allowing species to migrate. Could this have led to a spread of disease to which other animals were not resistant? A very severe ice age could have altered climates and froze waters to the extent that dinosaurs were unable to weather the conditions, and slowly died out. This one is a little bit more radical. Could a massive comet travels close to Earth every 26 million years, bringing with it radioactive debris that collides with our planet, disrupts weather patterns and wipes out entire ecosystems even taking the dinosaurs with it 65 million years ago?(Daulton, Pinter and Scott) All the theories are very different but they are all shows off well that this topic is very interesting for everyone because if the population don't know their own history how could they know where they should move? To have a future everyone should know their past, without story and roots we are all leaves on the wind that were taken by the wind and that don't control their own lives.

The hypotheses explaining the ice age seem like a number of pick-and-choose options. Each of them has scientific backing as well as serious defects. They all tell a story about the earth in two possible instances: a slow change in climate and a sudden catastrophic change (Grubb). Climate was changed dramatically during the ice age and that lead to the big species extinction. It is a fact that many north American species became extinct right after the last ice age in 10,000 BC. Animals such as mammoths, American elephants, horses, sloths among others are just some of those that became extinct. Lands in Central and South America have also shown great evidences of large-scale extinction. The cause of the extinction is still unknown (Hapgood).

After considering different theories and making analysis it's possible to say that the temperature drop during the Cretaceous period would almost certainly have wiped out an 'abundance' of the world's dinosaurs. The scientists behind the ground-breaking study claim this would have been the first major step dinosaurs took on their eventual road to extinction. Some experts believe the creatures were wiped out by one cataclysmic event 65million years ago - such as a meteor hitting the planet. But the new research suggests they were wiped out by a series of environmental changes - starting with a drop in sea temperatures (Sutcliffe). It could happen because the level of CO2 could rises as the result of it the polar ice melt and the heat rose into atmosphere that led to the dramatic extinction. This theory looks like the most common and easy to understand, it looks really well theorized but we still have a question. What should we do with other theories? Do they have a possibility to exist? Also asteroid theory looks like possible version of those events. The question is still open if there is any proof of this theory. Scientists believe that the asteroid could bring a lot of dust with it and all that dust were in the air that closed the sun and the sunshine did not get to the earth surface and that caused extinction because animals and plants did not get sunlight. Another theory told us that volcanic activity took place because of asteroid that crashed into the Earth and gave a push to the world biggest volcanoes, as it is known there were a lot of volcanoes all over the world because Earth was young and it was still forming itself so the processes were not finished. The millions volcanoes all over the world became active and all that cause to the heating of the temperature and that animals were burnt by lava and all that caused dramatic extinction. This theory looks realistic because all over the Earth we have a lot of different volcanoes and as we know there was a dramatic story with Pompei and the story of Pompei is really close and demonstrate clearly that this volcano theory is one of the most possible theories. It is also believed that there were different ice age periods and they could be caused by world temperature changing. This theory is really interesting because it looks like the Earth is trying to clean itself in this way, it is like a alive creature that understands it own needs and when the time is right it change species from animal to homo sapiens because during the ice age the first human become homo sapiens that learn how to live in such difficult conditions and how to make their life easier.

The ice age was the most challenging time for everyone on the Earth because their home became unfriendly to them. It is really difficult to take one of all those theories that can explain clearly history of those days because all of them look like possible scenarios of the planet past. I really like rise temperature theory because it looks really realistic for me. We can see the same picture nowadays because CO2 is pretty high now and scientists all over the world telling us that it is really dangerous to live with greenhouse effect because of this ice cap melting and ocean rise up and all these can lead to another ice age. What can we do for not to let the story repeat is to try to reduce greenhouse effect and try to stop ice melt. It is always a nice idea try to study from the past for not bringing same mistakes into our present life or future.

Works Cited

Carey, Mark. In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: climate change and Andean Society. London: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Daulton, T., M. Pinter and A. Scott. "No evidence of nanodiamonds in Younger-Dryassediments to support an impact event." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....

Cite this page

Ice Age Theories. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism