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CR 20:1-7 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/cr020001

A relief-specific model of the ice age on the basis of uplift-controlled glacier areas in Tibet and the corresponding albedo increase as well as their positive climatological feedback by means of the global radiation geometry

Matthias Kuhle*

Geographisches Institut der Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstraße 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

ABSTRACT: The onset of the ice age era at ~2.75 Ma BP and its increasing intensity from ~1 Ma BP onwards cannot be explained by variations of the Earth¹s orbit. Evidence supporting a 2.4 million km2 ice sheet on the Tibetan plateau during the Last Glacial Maximum has led to the hypothesis that the resulting albedo-induced heat loss in the Earth¹s atmosphere may have triggered global ice ages. Recent data obtained from marine and terrestrial sediment records now confirm the climatic-ecological impact of a Tibetan glaciation; they also show that the development of Tibet¹s ice sheet was synchronous with the onset and intensification of global ice ages.

KEY WORDS: Ice ages · Tibetan ice sheet · Quaternary climate

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