Ice Age was cold, literally. But how cold? The answer is startling.

By Antonio Manaytay

The last Ice Age was cold. Many believed it was even colder. How cold, nobody knew it until a team of researchers had found it.

Researchers from the University of Arizona pegged the temperature of the last Ice Age, which lasted 20,000 years, at about 7.8 degrees Celcius (46 F).

The last Ice Age, or Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), covered the almost half of North America, South America, parts of Asia, and Europe.

There is a lot of data about the last Ice Age.

But these data, according to Jessica Tierney, associate professor of UA Department of Geosciences, have not answered the question how cold it was.


In a paper published in Nature. the researchers found out the average global temperature at the time was cooler by 6 degrees Celsius than today. The average global temperatureΒ  during the last century was 14 degrees Celsius.

It might not sound a big difference. But Tierney said, “it’s a huge change.”

The map created by the team showed the northern parts of the globe had experienced extreme cooling.

Arctic region, however, had the coolest temperature, 14 C colder than today.

Better understanding

The team’s findings will help in the better understanding of climate change.

It will help climate scientists to understand better the relationship between the rising level of carbon dioxide and average temperatures worldwide.

The findings resonate with the science on how Earth’s poles react to the changes of temperatures.

Tierney said climate models showed that the higher the latitude is, the faster it warms.

Taking this into consideration, she said, the Arctic region will really get warmer than those in the low latitudes.

During the last ice age, the researchers found a “reverse pattern.”

“Higher latitudes are just more sensitive to climate change,” said Tierney.Β It will remain so, she added.

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