Present and past Pleistocene distribution of ice cover

The Cryosphere
• Consists of ice sheets and glaciers, combined with sea ice
• Parts of Earth’s crust and atmosphere subject to temperatures below 0 degrees C for at least part of the year
Ice Coverage
• Ice cover at Pleistocene maximum was more than 3X greater than the present day
• The major extensions were two ice sheets in North America and the Scandinavia Ice Sheet
• 85% of all current glacier ice is contained in Antarctica
• Greenland Ice Sheet is second largest accumulation of glacier ice
• Latitude and altitude are the two most influential factors in ice accumulation.
• Ice extent greater over continental interiors – away from warming influence of oceans

Types of Ice Mass

Global Ice Coverage – 20,000 years bp