Q:

What causes an ice age?

A:

Quick Answer

Although the exact cause of ice ages is not known, scientists speculate that they are caused by a combination of the distance of the Earth from the Sun, the position of the continents and solar output. The last ice age happened around 20,000 years ago.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

During an ice age, the whole planet is noticeably colder. Ice ages can last for million of years and help to shape continents. Today's climate is actually a warm period between periods of glaciation. The world's climate continues to change and land masses continue to move. This means that the Earth is in the middle of a major cooling period that started more than 3 million years ago.

Learn more about Geology
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does magma rise to the Earth's surface?

    A:

    Magma rises to the Earth's surface due to a combination of differences in density with other rocks in the crust and pressure. The differences in density cause it to move upward until its density is the same as the other rocks in the crust. It then builds pressure, causing it to rise to the surface.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How old is the world?

    A:

    As of 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the best estimate of the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years, based largely on the apparent age of meteorites that were presumably formed at the same time. The oldest dated earth rocks are 4.4 billion years old.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the climate of Mars?

    A:

    Due to its greater distance from the Sun, Mars has a much colder climate than Earth, with average temperatures of -80 degrees Fahrenheit. Although its atmosphere is very thin, clouds and storms still form on Mars, and the planet experiences all four seasons due to its axial tilt.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some facts about winter for kids?

    A:

    One interesting fact about winter for kids is that the Sun looks slightly larger because of the decreased distance between the Sun and the Earth. In December, the Northern Hemisphere tilts furthest away from the sun, which causes the drop of temperature in winter.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore