Ice Ages have been a fact of life on Earth for aeons, according to conventional ice age theory. There is now evidence that during the very early existence of our planet, the entire Earth was completely glaciated, possibly twice!(w)
However, the exact cause of the onset of any ice age is still a matter of active debate(ab). Ralph Ellis has now proposed a new theory based on a cyclical alteration of polar albedo by atmospheric dust(n).
Over the last three million years, a period referred to by geologists as the Pleistocene Epoch, at least thirty Ice Ages have been ‘identified’. The exact extent of the polar ice caps during the last Ice Age is the subject of some debate with new evidence from northern Sweden and Norway, suggesting a less extensive cap than previously believed. However, there is evidence that Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is now 13,803 feet above sea level,” had a large glacial ice cap of about 70 square kilometres until 14,500 years ago.”(ag)
Various theories have been proposed to explain the onset and the ending of these Ice Ages ranging from changes in the earth’s orbit(g) around the sun to the effects of the Earth’s passage through the spiral arms of the Milky Way.
Over recent decades we have been consistently told that global warming is underway with a constant threat of rising sea levels. Consequently, it was no surprise when, in April 2018, The Guardian had a headline declaring that Glacier loss is accelerating because of global warming(r). However, an equally up-to-date website(s) claims that most of the world’s glaciers are actually growing and makes the comparable assertion that sea levels have stopped rising(t). Over a decade ago the well-known botanist David Bellamy made similar claims, that were refuted in a revealing article by George Monbiot, also in The Guardian(u).
Emilio Spedicato has proposed(a) that glaciations are started by asteroidal or cometary impacts on land and terminated by impacts with an ocean. The late Sir Fred Hoyle and his equally radical colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe concurred with this view. They believe that an impact of sufficient size would have vaporised and ejected billions of gallons of water into the upper atmosphere creating an immediate ‘greenhouse effect’ that then led to the melting of the glaciers. In a 1999 paper, Hoyle & Wickramasinghe wrote of the positive effect of greenhouse gases in staving off the next ice age(aa).
Another recent theory suggests that a severe reduction in sunspot activity may herald the imminent return of another ‘little ice age’ such as was experienced in the 17th century and known as the Maunder Minimum. During that period only 50 sunspots were recorded instead of the usual 40-50 thousand(ah). NASA has denied that there is any such impending cooling and that the possible effect of any reduced solar activity would be more than offset by the warming caused by human activity(ai).
In 2003, scientists at Kansas University drew a lot of attention with their claim that gamma-ray bursts can cause an ice age and mass extinctions. However, the suggested frequency of a gamma-ray explosion that might affect the Earth, every few hundred million years runs counter to conventional ice age theory which proposes that the frequency of ice ages runs to hundreds of thousands of years(ad).
The last Ice Age reached what is known as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) around 25,000 -15,000 BP, according to Ray & Adams(q). LGM describes the time when the glaciers reached their maximum extension.
Remarkably, the very existence of an Ice Age was only first conceived just over 150 years ago when Louis Agassiz first published his theory. It took another century before it was fully realised that some of the consequences of the melting of the glaciers at the end of each Ice Age, would have been the flooding of continental shelves and the breaching of low-lying land bridges.
An example of such events would have been the submergence of the majority of the Celtic Shelf separating Britain and Ireland from mainland Europe. In the South China Sea, large chunks of what is known as Sundaland were also flooded. At the eastern end of the Mediterranean, the Bosporus was breached flooding the Black Sea, and more controversially some claim that there had been a breach of a landbridge at the Strait of Gibraltar.
Prompted by the fact that the date given by Solon/Plato for the destruction, 9600 BC coincides with the retreating of the glaciers of the last Ice Age, all the above submergences and breaches have been included in the Atlantis debate.
New studies have shown interesting confirmation of the ‘Out of Africa‘ theory, which had recently come under attack. The effects of the last Ice Age on the population of Europe were quite dramatic(l). In 2013, journalist, Paul Salopek set out on a 21,000-mile walking journey from East Africa, across Asia, and down the west coast of the Americas in an attempt to emulate mankind’s long odyssey as he (mankind not Saklopek) populated the planet(v).
The most recent genetic studies suggest that “a vast inland oasis in present-day northern Botswana was once home to the founder population of all modern humans.” (x)
A first-rate work  by Steven Mithen on the aftermath of the last Ice Age was recently published.
Fundamentalist Christians who believe in a literal seven days of creation have great difficulty with modern Ice Age theory(b) and some propose that an ice age occurred after the biblical Deluge(f). For some fundamentalists the (only) Ice Age lasted from around 2500 BC until 1500 BC(o), otherwise, it will not fit into Archbishop Ussher’s 4004 BC date for the creation of the world!
Furthermore, it would be dishonest if I did not record that there have been more credible attempts to debunk the ‘conventional’ Ice Age Theory. The late Peter K. Bros (1939-2007) expressed such views in J. Douglas Kenyon’s Forbidden History[802.44] and in Atlantis Rising magazine(ae).
Furthermore, Allan & Delair offer similar views in Chapter 12 of Part One of their acclaimed book Cataclysm as does Richard E.Mooney[0842.87]. An essay by Kurt Johmann entitled “Debunking Ice Age” is also worth a read. The Thunderbolts website has a forum(h) dealing with whether Ice Ages occurred at all! Those interested in this particular controversy will find some worthwhile comments there. The same site has linked to an article that offers further challenges to conventional Ice Age and global warming theories. This report(j) concerns the discovery of the remains of a 4,000-year-old forest in the Alps at the edge of a retreating glacier, which added further evidence that warmer climates than at present were experienced since the last Ice Age. A regular Thunderbolts contributor, Rens Van Der Sluijs, also deals with global warming during the last Ice Age as revealed through mythology(k). However, Thunderbolts ‘Electric Universe’ concept has also received some highly critical reviews(m).
An interesting side issue is the work of Genevieve von Petzinger(y) who has collated recurring geometric symbols found in the Ice Age caves and rock carvings, not only across Europe but in Asia and less frequently in Africa and the Americas.
The University of Sheffield has now produced a set of maps showing the shrinkage of the last glacial ice sheet that covered most of the British Isles at the end of the last Ice Age(d). That particular ice sheet contained enough water to raise the world’s oceans by 2.5 metres when melted. Further maps have been published on Don Hitchcock’s website(i).
The retreating ice sheets also produced drumlins, with as many as 20,000 to be found in Ireland, with many of these and other Ice Age creations featuring in the placenames of my country(p).
We should not forget that Mother Nature can still spring weather surprises on us, such as the Great European Freeze of 1709 that led to widespread death of humans and livestock, crop failures and food riots(af).
(m) See: Archive 922
(ae) Atlantis Rising No. 41
(af) New Scientist, 07 February 2009