Ice age

Ice age

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Credit: VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ice age. Conceptual computer artwork of the Earth encased in ice, representing an ice age. An ice age can refer to either a long, generally cool period in Earth's history (an ice age), or to the shorter periods of maximum glaciation during an ice age, when glaciers advance from the poles towards the equator. Earth has been in an ice age for the last 4 million years, but the last maximum glaciation was some 20,000 years ago. Earth is in a warmer period (an interglacial) between periods of glaciation. The next glaciation, due soon, may last 100,000 years. The current ice age may last hundreds of millions of years.

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