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The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science
  • Considers the development of Ice Age theory through history
  • Looks at how we came to understand the changing climates and environments of the Ice Age
  • Explores how data from ocean and ice-core records is being used to interpret the patterns and cycles of climate change
  • Written in an easy and fluid narrative style, including stories and biographical sketches of the key people and the human stories of those involved

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 380

By: Jamie Woodward(Author)

163 pages, 35 b/w photos and b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Jan 2014 | #209000 | ISBN-13: 9780199580699
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

The study of the Quaternary ice age has revolutionized ideas about Earth system change and the pace of landscape and ecosystem dynamics. The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction looks at evidence from the continents, the oceans, and the ice core records, and the human stories behind it all. Jamie Woodward examines the remarkable environmental shifts that took place during the Great Ice Age of the Quaternary Period. He explores the evolution of ideas, evaluates the contributions of the leading players in the great debates, and presents some of the ingenious methods that have been used to retrieve information about the recent geological past. In an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever. The Ice Age examines the wonders of the Quaternary ice age – to show how ice age landscapes and ecosystems were repeatedly and rapidly transformed as plants, animals, and humans reorganized their worlds.

"I very much enjoy delving into the A Very Short Introduction series for a short, but not too short, summary of a subject. The Ice Age is another in this extensive series published by Oxford University Press. There are more than 350 volumes in the series and they aim to provide a 'stimulating and accessible' way into a new subject."

"For me, this is just the right approach. Science is not just facts, but it is also people, blind alleys, prejudices [...] and egos. Taken together, this is a heady mixture which has been expertly stirred together."
Geological Journal

"This is a quite delightful book, in every way. It is well written. It is stacked with new research, something that is not easy for such a 'well-worn' topic, and not a word is wasted. It also includes a large number of cameos that enhance our understanding of Quaternary Science."
Proceedings of the Geologists's Association

"Well written, engaging, and accessible."
Geographical Journal

"This is a truly comprehensive, highly accessible, and entertaining biography of Ice Age research."



1. The Quaternary Ice Age
2. Erratic Boulders and the Diluvium
3. Monster Glaciers
4. Die Eiszeit
5. 1840
6. Ice sheets or icebergs
7. Glacials, interglacials, and celestial cycles
8. Deep ocean sediments and dating the past
9. Ice cores, abrupt climate shifts, and ecosystem change

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Jamie Woodward is Professor of Physical Geography at The University of Manchester. He has published widely on Quaternary environmental change and human activity in ice age environments and has extensive field experience in the Mediterranean region and in the Nile Valley. He is the Co-Editor of Geoarchaeology: An International Journal and is the Quaternary Science and Geomorphology Editor for the Journal of the Geological Society of London He has recently co-authored four chapters and edited The Physical Geography of the Mediterranean for OUP (2009).

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