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Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this engrossing and accessible book, Doug Macdougall explores the causes and effects of ice ages that have gripped our planet throughout its history, from the earliest known glaciation—nearly three billion years ago—to the present. Following the development of scientific ideas about these dramatic events, Macdougall traces the lives of many of the brilliant and intrigui ...more
Paperback, 267 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by University of California Press (first published September 15th 2004)
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May 16, 2012 Rajani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages, is a great book about the Ice age and the gradual acknowledgement made by scientific society of the existence of ice ages. Doug Macdougall, the author of Frozen Earth, mentions different scientific and non-scientific figures who have contributed in making the theory of Ice age. He writes about how they comprehended the causes of ice age and the evidence current landscape provides. He talks about Louis Agassiz frequently because of this contrib ...more
Oct 12, 2016 kurp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merytorycznie ocenić nie jestem w stanie, ale dla pasjonatów nauki - bardzo ciekawa rzecz. W pierwszej części mocno biograficzna; sylwetki badaczy XIX stulecia, mimo niewątpliwego uroku, trochę mnie wymęczyły. Im dalej w las, tym jednak robi się ciekawiej. Całość nie tylko pokazuje stan wiedzy (i, co ważne, niewiedzy), ale też stanowi fascynującą historię odkrywania tajemnic lodu. Autor odważnie wychodzi poza temat samego klimatu, szukając skutków epok lodowcowych dla flory, fauny, ewolucji czło ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius  omnivorous reader
This was a very decent, popular science level book about ice ages.

Of course, if you are interested in ice ages you are essentially reading geology which is always a challenge for me as I find geology one of the harder sciences to read about (no pun intended, but embraced nonetheless). When reading geology, there is almost always an element of the history of how the geological propositions came about and the characters responsible for them, this book is no exception there. It concludes with a co
Jaap Hoogenboezem
Aug 26, 2014 Jaap Hoogenboezem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a decade old, but still very interesting, as it treats in large part the history of the scientific investigation into ice ages. Especially the parts on the Pleistocene (which is most of the book) are good. The part on the Snowball Earth-period periods was less informative because necessarily more speculative. The last of those periods was more than 600 million years ago, so there is not much solid evidence. The chapter on the relation between the last ice age and human evolution was ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one nerdy book - and I loved it! Climate science is so fascinating. I could have been a paleoclimatologist. Instead I read books like this. It really helped me frame climate change into a much longer perspective.
I could never get into this book. I ended up skimming it, just to say that I finished it (it was highly recommended by a friend). It contained too much detail about the early theories and theorists and not enough photos or illustrations to help me wrap my brain around some of the complex concepts. I definitely learned some things, but I would have preferred to get my info from an article in Scientific American.
A. Merlocks
Dec 08, 2014 A. Merlocks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: snowball-earth
If you know nothing about Snowball Earth episodes and Ice Ages, this book is for you. Yes, think about skiing at the sea level near the equator,... it happened long ago. This book is truly informative and easy to read. Professor Macdougall did a superb job.
Oct 20, 2015 Marc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing; the 2013 version is simply the 2004 book with a new preface; the 'recent' 2003 discovery is not discussed in detail, even though the data have been online since 2005 or so, and there are no suggested reading titles published after 2003. About half of the book is history; too little science to my liking, and no detailed references.
Apr 05, 2013 Roaldeuller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't rehash what other reviewers have written about this excellent book except to say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Frozen Earth is organized as a series of biographical chapters focusing on different scientists who advanced our understanding of the history of Earth's glaciations stretching back several billion years. These biographical sketches include Louis Agassiz, James Croll, Milutin Milankovitch and others. I found this fascinating and it whet my appetite for more sub ...more
Tina Cipolla
Jul 30, 2011 Tina Cipolla rated it it was amazing
What a great book for the non-scientist who wants to learn about the scientists and the theories of ice ages. I know the current climate concern is over global warming, but a glacial advance seems way more frightening after reading this book. One issue that I had with the book is that it did not extend the theories forward in time to make an attempt at predicting when there will be a glacial advance again. This seemed like the next logical step and the author never went there. Overall impression ...more
Apr 28, 2010 MikeFromQueens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good soup-to-nuts on the ice-age cycles and how we come to know what we know. I like that the author left opinions out and mostly kept to relevant facts. Precession of the equinoxes, anyone?
Sep 02, 2011 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, concise overview of ice ages and why they occur, past, present and future.
Nov 01, 2014 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book, I come to the conclusion that we're screwed.
Jan 17, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
A good study of the origin and history of ice ages; very informative.
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