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How many ice ages has the Earth had, and could humans live through one? - The Conversation

How many ice ages has the Earth had, and could humans live through one? - The Conversation

How many ice ages has the Earth had, and could humans live through one? - The Conversation
Jun 27, 2022 1 min, 3 secs

If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to [email protected]

It’s when the Earth has cold temperatures for a long time – millions to tens of millions of years – that lead to ice sheets and glaciers covering large areas of its surface?

The most recent one started about 2.6 million years ago, and in fact, we are still technically in it.

So why isn’t the Earth covered in ice right now.

Right now we are in the most recent ice age’s warm interglacial period, which began about 11,000 years ago.

At its peak, when ice sheets covered most of North America, the average global temperature was about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius).

That difference might not sound like a lot, but it resulted in most of North America and Eurasia being covered in ice sheets.

For a long time it was thought that humans did not enter North America until after the ice sheets started to melt.

But fossilized footprints found at White Sands National Park in New Mexico show that humans have been in North America since at least 23,000 years ago – close to the peak of the last ice age.

Do you have a question you’d like an expert to answer.


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