We all know that not all the inhabitants of Earth get the chance to enjoy warm weather on an almost daily bases. But 20 millennia ago, our ancestors that were living in Europe, North America, South America, and parts of Asia didn’t have the privilege either of enjoying regular warm weather. That’s when the latest ice age kicked in, which is also known as The Last Glacial Maximum.
As its name itself suggests, it was freezing cold during the latest ice age. But a team of researchers from the University of Arizona wanted to know just how cold it was, and they have an answer.
46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 degrees Celsius)
This is the temperature that the scientists are betting on. The new study was led by Jessica Tierney, an associate professor from the Arizona Department of Geosciences. The same research also reveals that the average global temperature during the last ice age was 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which translates to -11.66 degrees Celsius.
Tierney issued the following statement:
“We have a lot of data about this time period because it has been studied for so long,
But one question science has long wanted answers to is simple: How cold was the ice age? “
Ocean plankton fossil was the source of relevant data for the study. After developing models of translating the data into sea-surface temperatures, the next step was to use the data assimilation technique. Thus, the climate model simulations were combined with fossil data. Lead author Jessica Tierney also declared:
“Here, we use the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research climate model to produce a hindcast of the LGM, and then we update this hindcast with the actual data to predict what the climate was like.”
The results of the study may not seem too relevant for some people, but the scientists involved believe that they made a significant step forward towards understanding better how the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide affects the average global temperature.
The study is now published within the journal Nature.