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Earth Sciences & Geography - Atmospheric Sciences | Ice Ages and Interglacials - Measurements, Interpretation and Models

Ice Ages and Interglacials

Measurements, Interpretation and Models

Rapp, Donald

Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK

Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2009

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  • Provides an independent and complete summary of the latest data on ice ages
  • Explores theories and makes comparisons with all the available data
  • Extensive coverage: reviews all information known about ice ages in a scientific format
  • Will serve as the premier reference and sourcebook on ice ages
  • Acts as a primary textbook on ice ages and a secondary text on climate change

Ice ages represent perhaps the most dramatic example of extreme climate change on the Earth. Understanding how and why ice ages occur is of great importance in our wider understanding of the global climate system and how it might change. If one examines Greenland ice data for the past 100,000 years, it becomes very clear that the relatively warm period of the past 11,000 years stand out in striking contrast to the 90,000 years of extreme cold that preceded it. We now refer to the unusually warm period that we are in at the present time as an interglacial; the long preceding period of cold is a glacial or ice age. During the last ice age, humans developed elaborate tools and homo sapiens migrated from Africa to Europe, but it wasn’t until that ice age ended 11,000 years ago that agriculture began and with it the foundation of modern civilization. It is therefore not surprising that there is enormous interest in trying to work out the mechanisms which trigger ice ages to begin, and what causes them to end. Of particular interest is the fact that ice ages appear to begin and end very abruptly on the geological timescale.

Previous and existing books on ice ages are mostly short, popular and non-technical. This book will provide an independent and complete summary of the latest data, independent of theory or analysis, before exploring theories and making comparisons with that data. Professor Donald Rapp has had a long and varied scientific and engineering career, with 48 years of experience in different fields. He has published many scientific papers and five books, including Assessing Climate Change, published by Springer-Praxis in December 2007.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Ice ages - Interglacials - Interpretation models - Ocean - Snow - Sustainable development - biosphere - climate change - ecosystem

Related subjects » Astronomy - Atmospheric Sciences - Climatology - Global Change - Climate Change - Oceanography

Table of contents 

1. VARIABILITY OF THE EARTH’S CLIMATE 2. GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF ICE AGES 3. ICE CORE METHODOLOGY 4. ICE CORE DATA 5. OCEAN SEDIMENT DATA 6. OTHER DATA SOURCES 7. SUMMARY OF CLIMATE VARIATIONS 8. OVERVIEW OF THE VARIOUS MODELS FOR ICE AGES IN THE RECENT PAST (3 MYBP TO PRESENT) 9. VARIABILITY OF SOLAR IRRADIANCE: ASTRONOMICAL THEORY 10. COMPARISON OF ASTRONOMICAL THEORY WITH DATA 11. COMPARISON OF OTHER THEORIES WITH DATA 12. STATUS OF OUR UNDERSTANDING 13. FUTURE PROSPECTS 14. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN RELATION TO THE CARRYING CAPACITY OF THE BIOSPHERE 15. THE STARTING CONDITIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE PRESERVATION OF ECOSYSTEMS BY COUNTRY AND CONTINENT 16. NAVIGATION DIRECTIONS: INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 17. THE BARRICADES OF OLD THINKING IN THE WAY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 18. WHAT THE MARKET ECONOMY CAN AND CANNOT ACCOMPLISH 19. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE 'REAL HUMAN CONDITION' 20. THE SOCIAL PREMISES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE GLOBALIZATION PROBLEM

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