Q:

How often do ice ages occur?

A:

Quick Answer

According to ScienceDaily, ice ages occur every 100,000 years. They are made up of extremely cold periods, glacials, during which thick ice sheets bury vast areas of North America, Europe and Asia, and warm periods, interglacials, when the ice melts.

Know More
How often do ice ages occur?
Credit: Lars Mathisen Photography Moment Getty Images

Full Answer

The Earth has seen several ice ages since its formation, but the most recent glacial began in the Pleistocene era and ended about 10,000 years ago. This cold period was named the Wisconsin glaciation after scientists found evidence of it in Wisconsin. Scientists believe that the Earth is currently experiencing an interglacial period that is expected to last approximately 10,000 years.

Learn more about Earth Science

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do seasons occur?

    A:

    Seasons occur on Earth because the planet is tilted on its axis at just over 23 degrees. Both the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere are tilted closer to the sun as the planet completes a full orbit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do avalanches occur most frequently?

    A:

    France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy are the countries with the largest number of avalanches each year. The United States is the fifth highest country in terms of avalanche danger, most prominently in Colorado, Alaska and Utah.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do avalanches occur?

    A:

    Avalanches occur when large amounts of snow fall from steep slopes, either due to a break or fissure in the snow pack or due to an accumulation of too much snow for the slope's angle. In some cases, a snow pack can fracture due to a hiker or skier's actions, or rising temperatures may render the accumulated snow too unstable to stick to the slope.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is an ice cap?

    A:

    An ice cap is a glacier that covers less than 19,000 square miles. These miniature ice sheets form in polar and subpolar regions that are high in elevation and possess a relatively flat surface. Glacial ice that covers an area greater than 19,000 miles is known as an ice sheet.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore