Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Pleistocene Climate

Climate during the Pleistocene epoch (1.8 mya to 10 kya) continued to become cooler, and the earth entered a period of constantly fluctuating climate known as the Great Ice Age; the fluctuations were minor until about 800 kya, when periods of intense cold occurred about every 90 ky, with minor oscillations about 20 ky and 40 ky apart; about one third of the earth’s surface was covered during glacial maxima; sea levels fell at least 100 m (some report up to 250 m) as sea water became permanently locked up in glacial ice sheets.

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