R. Flint's Glacial Theory

Scientific hypotheses are somewhat reminiscent of legends. Fiction, truth and predictions intertwine in them, as in a good science fiction story. But there are still scientific theories. They establish strong links between facts, not allowing them to be far from evading. There are still empirical generalizations. Or, in other words, generalizations of experience. They do not depart from the facts at all, strictly describing what is actually happening. In the natural sciences, there is still an abundance of hypotheses and a lot of empirical generalizations. But theories are few. Glacial theory is one of the few that can be considered convincingly proven. Although this is not so simple. The more complete and perfect science, the more laws and rules in it and the less hypotheses. A good example of this is classical mathematics or physics. And in geological sciences one can find almost undeniable truths. They have to rely on them. The famous American geologist R. Flint, who devoted a great monograph to the great glaciers, only casually mentioned possible causes of glaciation. He tried to rely on facts and suggested highlighting the most proven and significant patterns of the ice age. It turned out roughly such empirical generalizations.

1. There were several glaciers and interglacials. In the last interglacial climate fluctuations are distinct (perhaps, this was the case before). Over the past thirty thousand years, these fluctuations have occurred approximately simultaneously in Europe and North America. Over the past ten years, glaciers in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have experienced simultaneous fluctuations.

2. The snow line in the mountains shifted down and up by a thousand two hundred meters (a little less at the equator).

3. Average air temperatures changed by several degrees (at low latitudes, more than at the equator).

4. Glaciers are necessarily associated with mountains or hills. Even those glaciers that flood vast lowlands (as, for example, in Greenland).

5. The basic patterns of glacier life in the past were about the same as now. Studying modern glaciers, you can better understand the history of the ice age.

6. Glaciers advanced in approximately the same direction. This is proved by the parallelism of ridges of finite moraines.

7. Climatic zones for the entire Quaternary period shifted south or north. However, their relationship and mutual position continued.

8. Climate change is very gradual when compared with the duration of human life. The general gradual cooling of the Earth lasts many millions of years and began long before the Quaternary.

9. During maximum glaciation, the climate becomes more arid. Annual precipitation is less than now.

10. The ice ages were before the Quaternary. In the history of the Earth, they rarely happened and occupied relatively small segments of geological time.

11. In the Quaternary, significant changes occurred in the plant and animal world of the Earth. They started back in previous periods, but in the Quaternary they accelerated and manifested themselves especially brightly.

12. The person “progressed” most quickly: the volume and complexity of his brain increased. Creating tools, he gradually freed himself from the unconditional power of the natural environment (partly falling under the power of technology).

The list could be continued. With one significant caveat: not all of these generalizations can be considered generally accepted; Moreover, over the past thirty years, among the unceasing quarrels of Quaternary geologists, voices are heard more clearly:

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