Scientists Provide an Answer for How Cold it Was During The Last Ice Age

You certainly wouldn’t like to be living on Earth about 20,000 years ago. That’s when the latest ice age occurred, as it’s also called the Last Glacial Maximum. By being finally able to determine just how cold it was during those times, climate scientists can now understand better how the average global temperature is affected by the increase of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

During the latest ice age, huge parts of Europe, Asia, North America, and even from South America were covered in ice.

46 degrees Fahrenheit

Thanks to a research team from the University of Arizona, we now have the temperature of the latest ice age: 46 degrees Fahrenheit, which also translates to 7.8 degrees Celsius. The same team discovered that the average global temperature of the ice age was 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Jessica Tierney, who is an associate professor in the Arizona Department of Geosciences, led the study.

Tierney declared:

We have a lot of data about this time period because it has been studied for so long,

But one question science has long wanted answers to is simple: How cold was the ice age?

Tierney and her team developed models for translating data into sea-surface temperatures. The data was collected from ocean plankton fossil. The scientists then combined the fossil data with climate model simulations of the Last Glacial Maximum by using the data assimilation technique.

Jessica Tierney explained:

Here, we use the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research climate model to produce a hindcast of the LGM, and then we update this hindcast with the actual data to predict what the climate was like.

The same scientists hope that in the future, they will be able to recreate warm climate periods from the Earth’s past by using the same technique.

The new study was published in the journal Nature.

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