We may finally understand why ice ages are a thing, and it’s super cool

We spend a lot of time freaking out about changes that happen on our planet. It’s important that we keep talking about them, too, and doing research into things like, what is global warming? And, is climate change real? And how are they different, and what can we do?! BUT, it’s also important to recognize that some changes (read: *not* all!) are normal, and one of those changes is ice ages. In general, humans remain baffled by ice ages. Like, seriously, why do we have ice ages every 100,000 years? What a bizarre cycle!

But thanks to the ~magic that is science~ we finally have a better understanding of why ice ages occur. And we’re so curious.


Published in the journal Geology, research conducted by a team of scientists at Cardiff University may finally be leading us to a better understanding of what’s behind the cycle of ice ages. And it actually may all come down to oceans. According to Business Insider, lead researcher Carrie Lear, a professor of earth science at Cardiff University, explained,

"It's really difficult to get good records of past climate changes on land, especially from this time period, because the ice sheets themselves are really good at destroying their own geological record."

There may be an answer, though, despite how complicated this all is.

"But there is a continuous accumulation of sediment on the seafloor, which we can study."


By looking at things from a different perspective (~under the sea~ instead of on land), they’ve realized it probably has to do with carbon dioxide.

In Phys Org, Lear explains,

"If we think of the oceans inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, the presence of vast amounts of ice is like a giant gobstopper. It's like a lid on the surface of the ocean."

We. Are. Fascinated. Oh science. We love you so.