Slicing up the Ice Ages

What was the world like during the Ice Ages?

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We know that it was not uniformly cold but that there were also periods of climate as warm as today.

This exhibit shows the ways in which the climate history of the last 2 million years has been unravelled using fossil evidence from the oceans and continents.

Much of this research has been conducted by scientists in Cambridge, including those here in the Museum of Zoology and others at the Godwin Institute for Quaternary Research and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

When did the Ice Ages Occur?

The Quaternary period, covering around the last 2 million years, is known to have experienced a series of severe climatic fluctuations, including major continental glaciations. An important discovery from deep sea cores was the actual number of warm and cold periods recorded – far more than had been expected from the discontinuous continental sequences. The evidence for this climatic variability was provided by the sediments themselves and their contained microfossils.

Last updated: 18 April 2009