A Timeline of Earth’s Climate History: From the Last Ice Age to Today
The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago. Since then, the Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled several times. In each of these warmer periods, the world experienced far less rain and snowfall than in the last ice age. Some civilizations disappeared for good, while others had to evolve for survival. The world has now entered an era of rapid climate change that will continue until carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are significantly reduced. How temperatures have changed during the past million years and why this matters for you today.
The World Before the Last Ice Age
A period of cold climate lasting thousands of years deposited thick layers of ice over large parts of the Earth. The last of these cold periods, which ended about 10,000 years ago, was known as the Holocene Epoch. This period was characterized by relatively warm and stable climates, with little or no drastic change in the amount of precipitation across large parts of the globe.
The Last Glacial Period, 11,000 to 14,000 years ago
During the Holocene Epoch, the last ice age, the amount of precipitation across much of the globe fell by about 60% from the timespan of the previous glaciation. By contrast, during the glacial period, the amount of precipitation over large parts of the globe was still above 30%, the result of highly variable and intense precipitation in many places and seasons. This change in precipitation has led to significant changes in the world’s climate. The directly linked changes are the drying and location Depression of the Yangtze River and a shift in the jet stream that leads to significantly lower snow cover over the Himalayas and other mountains of northern India.
The World After the Last Ice Age
After the last ice age, the Earth’s climate slowly returned to its normal state. The Holocene Epoch ended around 10,000 years ago, and the Earth has since been in a transition period known as the interglacial period. During this period, the Earth was more or less in a state of climate balance, with little or no variation in the amount of precipitation and little or no change in the distribution of species.
The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago, during which time the Earth experienced much less precipitation and more CO2 in the atmosphere. The earth has now entered an era of rapid climate change that will continue until carbon dioxide levels are significantly reduced. Climate change is a natural process that is occurring as a result of human activities. This means that the changes will be gradual, and the effects will be felt throughout human history. It is important to note that while climate change is a very real phenomenon, it is not a threat to our survival as a species. In fact, the changes that are taking place are beneficial to the survival of human populations.