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Pioneers of the ice age models: a brief history from Agassiz to Milankovitch

Ateş, M. Efe (2022) Pioneers of the ice age models: a brief history from Agassiz to Milankovitch. History of Geo- and Space Sciences, 13 (1). pp. 23-37. ISSN 2190-5029

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Abstract

It is now widely accepted that astronomical factors trigger the emergence of glacial and interglacial periods. However, nearly two centuries ago, the overall situation was not as apparent as it is today. In this article, I briefly discuss the astronomical model of ice ages put forward in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This period was indeed anni mirabiles for scientists to understand the ice age phenomenon. Agassiz, Adhémar and Croll laid the foundation stones for understanding the dynamics of ice ages. But it was Milankovitch who combined empirical geology with mathematical astronomy. Specifically, he identified the shortcomings of the preceding ice age models and modified his model accordingly. In what follows, I review earlier approaches to the ice age problem and show how they failed to meet their objectives. Next, I show how Milankovitch's model managed to capture all sufficient astronomical elements. The final sections focus on Milutin Milankovitch's successful approach, including his accomplishment of tackling the problem mathematically.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ateş, M. Efe
Keywords: history and philosophy of science
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: M. Efe Ates
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2022 04:16
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2022 04:16
Item ID: 20462
Journal or Publication Title: History of Geo- and Space Sciences
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Official URL: http://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-13-23-2022
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.5194/hgss-13-23-2022
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Date: 30 March 2022
Page Range: pp. 23-37
Volume: 13
Number: 1
ISSN: 2190-5029
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20462

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