The Late Cenozoic Ice Age, or Antarctic Glaciation began 33.9 million years ago at the Eocene-Oligocene Boundary and is ongoing. It is Earth's current ice age or icehouse period. Its beginning is marked by the formation of the Antarctic ice sheets. The Late Cenozoic Ice Age gets its name due to the fact that it covers roughly the last half of Cenozoic era so far.
Six million years after the start of the Late Cenozoic Ice Age, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet had formed, and 14 million years ago it had reached its current extent. It has persisted to the current time.
In the last three million years, glaciations have spread to the northern hemisphere. It commenced with Greenland becoming increasingly covered by an ice sheet in late Pliocene (2.9-2.58 Ma ago) During the Pleistocene Epoch (starting 2.58 Ma ago), the Quaternary glaciation developed with decreasing mean temperatures and increasing amplitudes between glacials and interglacials. During the glacial periods of the Pleistocene, large areas of northern North America and northern Eurasia have been covered by ice sheets.
- 1 History of discovery and naming
- 2 The climate before the polar ice caps
- 3 Glaciation of the southern hemisphere
- 4 Glaciation of the northern hemisphere
- 5 Last Glacial Period
- 6 Current Interglacial Period
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
History of discovery and naming
German naturalist Karl Friedrich Schimper coined the term Eiszeit, meaning ice age, in 1837. For a long time, the term referred only to glacial periods. Over time, this developed into the concept that they were all part of a much longer ice age.