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The Complete Ice Age

How Climate Change Shaped the World

Brian Fagan

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The great Ice Age brought vividly to life to show the epoch’s crucial significance for understanding climate change today


The astonishing climatic rollercoaster that was the Ice Age formed the backdrop to human evolution for almost 2.5 million years. During this time vast swathes of North America and Europe were frequently covered by ice sheets up to 2 kilometres thick, glaciers carved great valleys through the landscape and fearsome beasts including the sabre-toothed cat and woolly mammoth roamed a freezing, desolate wilderness.

What caused this period of intense cold and the intervals of rapid warming that punctuated it? And how did human populations survive in such an unstable and hostile world? As global warming and rising sea levels threaten the very foundations of our society, the need to understand past climate and the ways in which humans and animals adapted to it have never been more imperative.

In this book, leading scientists weave a compelling story out of the most up-to-date discoveries in different fields of Ice Age research. As the glaciers melted 10,000 years ago, our ancestors faced a staggering sea-level rise of 120 metres, far in excess of the relatively modest rise predicted for the 21st century. The final chapter issues a stark warning about the future of our planet and the consequences of our profligate lifestyles.

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'A visually pleasing and interesting introduction to the subject for the non-specialist and a useful text at the first-year student level'
Geological Magazine

'Colourful, concise and with lots of up-to-date science, this book hits the spot'
BBC Focus

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.4 x 19.2 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Illustrations: 192

Publication date: 12 October 2009

ISBN: 9780500051610

About the Author

Brian Fagan is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his books are Discovery!, Ancient North America, The Complete Ice Age and The Great Archaeologists, all published by Thames & Hudson.

List of Contributors

Brian Fagan, Mark Maslin, John Hoffecker, Hannah O'Regan

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