The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 30 Jan 2014
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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. (Weather)
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. (Climatica)
About the Author
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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Top Customer Reviews
The story demonstrates how key scientists, from across the natural sciences, have contributed to our knowledge of climate change. It has taken several centuries of dedicated research to arrive at our current understanding of the Earth system, and the book highlights what an important, interdisciplinary journey this has been. Pioneering figures such as Charles Lyell, Louis Agassiz, and William Buckland took centre stage in the great Ice Age debate as the glacial theory was devised and deliberated in the glaciated valleys of Britain and the European Alps during the 18th and 19th Centuries. During World War One, Milutin Milankovitch completed the painstaking task of calculating (using only pen and paper!) how the orbital relationships between the Earth and the Sun influence the amount of solar energy our planet receives. When he published his findings in 1941, the true gravitas of his work was not fully recognised. We had to wait several decades until the Milankovitch theory was fully credited…
We follow the Ice Age research story to the pioneering work of Nick Shackleton and colleagues on the deep ocean sediment record during the 1970s, and that of Hans Oeschger and Willi Dansgaard and their teams on the ice core record in the 1980s. It is these incredible archives that have allowed us to produce detailed insights into long-term climate change at a resolution and timescale that was not previously possible.Read more ›
One of the great strengths of this book is that it provides short introductions to a wide range of important topics in a convenient format for readers who want to get to grips with the basics of the subject area. In fact, it manages to go usefully beyond the basics despite the compact format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say this is not quite what I expected. It's really a book about the history of the idea of ice ages. Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. Lott
Excellent resource for one of my university examinations, as well as an accessible and interesting read for someone who has never studied the Cryosphere before.Published 5 months ago by David Uncle
Bloody good, really bloody good. Stays off the current politics and explains in simple language .. - does what it says on the cover.Published 8 months ago by george anthony stott
Good clear introduction to the subject.
The only quibble would be the lack of Deep Purple song titles throughout the text.
Must try harder Jamie.
I had expected a book with more on glacial features and their formation but was more than happy with this enjoyable and informative summary of the historic evolution of thoughts on... Read morePublished 13 months ago by MS
Short it may be, but it still begins with an interesting and reasonably fulsome account of how the Victorians reluctantly came to accept that there had been an "Ice Age"... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Roy Warwick McIntyre
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