An ice age is defined as any period in which at least one pole is glaciated. The south pole has been glaciated for 13 million years.______________
Make no mistake, we are in an ice age RIGHT NOW
Glacial periods (NOT “ice ages,” but I know what is meant by those words) in the present Cenozoic ice age begin with cooler springs and summers. Less and less snow and ice melt each year in the far northern latitudes, and the resulting increase in albedo amplifies the effects of less sunlight in the northern hemisphere due to increasing obliquity. It doesn’t matter how cold the winters are or how much snow there is if it all melts at the same time each year when spring and summer come.
There is still disagreement on naming the present ice age, which we are in RIGHT NOW.
Make no mistake, we are in an ice age. It has been called the Pleistocene Ice Age, which would indicate it has only been going on for 2.5 million years and would exclude the Holocene (the last 12,000 years). That’s not correct, because we’re still in it, this ice age, and it actually began 13 million years ago.
It has also been called the Quaternary Ice Age, which is not much better because that started only 2.5 million years ago, although the Quaternary does continue to the present.
It can’t be called the Neogene Ice Age, although that began early enough (23 mya) because that doesn’t continue to the present.
So it has to be called the Cenozoic Ice Age because that began 66 mya and continues to the present.
An ice age is defined as any period in which at least one pole is glaciated. The south pole has been glaciated for 13 million years.
Thanks to a reader who calls himself/herself Cenozoic Ice Age for this article.