Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery

Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery

4.0 3
by John Imbrie, Katherine Palmer Imbrie, Katherine P. Imbrie
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674440757

ISBN-13: 9780674440753

Pub. Date: 07/28/1986

Publisher: Harvard

This book tells the exciting story of the ice ages--what they were like, why they occurred, and when the next one is due. The solution to the ice age mystery originated when the National Science Foundation organized the CLIMAP project to study changes in the earth's climate over the past 700,000 years. One of the goals was to produce a map of the earth during the

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Overview

This book tells the exciting story of the ice ages--what they were like, why they occurred, and when the next one is due. The solution to the ice age mystery originated when the National Science Foundation organized the CLIMAP project to study changes in the earth's climate over the past 700,000 years. One of the goals was to produce a map of the earth during the last ice age. Scientists examined cores of sediment from the Indian Ocean bed and deciphered a continuous history for the past 500,000 years. Their work ultimately confirmed the theory that the earth's irregular orbital motions account for the bizarre climatic changes which bring on ice ages.

This is a tale of scientific discovery and the colorful people who participated: Louis Agassiz, the young Swiss naturalist whose geological studies first convinced scientists that the earth has recently passed through an ice age; the Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric but respected Oxford professor who fought so hard against the ice-age theory before accepting it; James Croll, a Scots mechanic who educated himself as a scientist and first formulated the astronomic theory of ice ages; Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian mathematician who gave the astronomic theory its firm quantitative foundation; and the many other astronomers, geochemists, geologists, paleontologists, and geophysicists who have been engaged for nearly a century and a half in the pressing search for a solution to the ice-age mystery.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674440753
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
07/28/1986
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

List of Illustrations

Prologue: The Forgotten Ice Age

Part I: Ice Age Discovered

1. Louis Agassiz and the Glacial Theory

2. The Triumph of the Glacial Theory

3. Exploring the Ice-Age World

Part II: Explaining The Ice Ages

4. The Ice-Age Problem

5. Birth of the Astronomical Theory

6. The Astronomical Theory of James Croll

7. Debate Over Croll's Theory

8. Through Distant Worlds and Times

9. The Milankovitch Controversy

10. The Deep and the Past

11. Pleistocene Temperatures

12. Milankovitch Revival

13. Signal from the Earth

14. Pulsebeat of Climate

15. Pacemaker of the Ice Ages

Part III: Ice Ages of the Future

16. The Coming Ice Age

Epilogue: The Last Billion Years of Climate

Appendix: Chronology of Discovery

Suggested Reading

Bibliography

Index

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ICE Ages; Solving the Mystery 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The authors provide a historical record of how our current understanding of ice ages has evolved over time. The do so with excellent narratives and provide detail into the lives of the people involved. Though the subject material is aimed at the scientifically inclined, it is written in a way that people with no background in science will understand. I couldn't put the book down!
NickGrube More than 1 year ago
This book explains the astonishing tale of the ice ages. It goes into such detail of why they occurred, what they were like, and when the next one is due. The explanation to the ice age mystery originated when the National Science Foundation organized the CLIMAP project to investigate transformations in the earth's climate in the last 700,000 years. One of the ambitions was to make a map of the planet Earth during the previous ice age. Scientists studied cores of sediment from the Indian Ocean bed and break down a continuous history for the past 500,000 years. Their labor ended up confirming the idea that the earth's sporadic orbital motions take  the cake for the unusual climatic differences which bring on ice ages. This book is a story of a scientific discovery and the wonderful people who participated: Louis Agassiz, the young Swiss naturalist whose geological studies first convinced scientists that the earth has recently passed through an ice age; the Reverend William Buckland, an eccentric but respected Oxford professor who fought so hard against the ice-age theory before accepting it; James Croll, a Scots mechanic who taught himself things as a scientist and first constructed the astronomic theory of ice ages; Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian math maniac who gave the astronomic theory its solid quantitative foundation; and the many other astronomers, geochemists, geologists, paleontologists, and geophysicists who have been in this field for nearly a century and a half in the pressing search for a solution to the ice-age mystery. You most definitely need to read  this book if you are any of the least bit interested in ice ages, geology, history of science, climate change, or just a good story. It's a quick but well written tale of the findings of the ice ages and how their nature and origin have been slowly undiscovered over  the following 150 years. One of the writers of the book was personally involved in the story, so he has really gives you a full scoop of what went down. Unfortunately, this probably accounts for the slower pace of the last few chapters, where events close to him are described in much greater detail. And even though the book is only 15 years old the last chapter (on a future ice age and the potential for global warming) seems outdated. Still, the book is well worth the read. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago