The Glaciation Fascination

By Rayna Campbell

The Earth’s history shows a wild mix of climates. Ranging from the toxic CO2-filled atmosphere of the earliest years, to global tropical conditions, to periods of intense and violent volcanic disturbances. In the incredibly short period of time humans have inhabited the earth, the climate has not had much time to change. But if we look back into our history, the last glacial maximum, or “The Ice Age” only occurred about  21,500 years ago (Editors). On the scale of geological time, this is very recent. So recent, in fact, we are still able to look to our paleoecological records and “see” evidence of the changes the environment went through during the presence of these huge ice masses.

Fig. 1) Glacial striations. Image courtesy of GNS Science (2009)

On the rocky coasts of lovely Maine in the summer, trips to the seaside provide not only a relaxing retreat from the summer heat, but a wealth of information about glacial movement thousands of years ago. Continue reading