I'm a little lost, though. In the second map, am I to understand that all of the blue area was open sea during the ice age? And the bluish-white at the top and bottom represents the ice coverage? Is this correct?
And here I was thinking that the ice ages turned the Earth into a big, spherical "icecube."
Well, it just goes to show how bad common misconceptions can be. Ice ages aren't exactly my forte, mind you (as if you couldn't tell ), but I thought that during an ice age, in essence, "the Earth froze." Well, I knew there was a little more to it than that but I never would have imagined there were open oceans and areas free of ice.
I suppose I really should have realized that. If the Earth's surface, in its entirety, were to freeze, is there any way that life could survive, in the long term?
Not really. As I said, ice ages are one topic that I've really never given a great deal of thought. As such, I'm sure I have many misconceptions about them.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't think that the Earth literally "froze solid" all the way through, like a round ice cube out of the freezer. I'm not that naive.
I figured there were probably active oceans under the ice, and of course all the usual geological and seismic activity, but as far as the Earth's surface goes, I thought the ice was pretty much everywhere. I was surprised, for example, to learn that there were oceans that weren't frozen over.
In retrospect, I don't know how I thought life could survive an entirely frozen environment. If I'd given it more than a cursory thought I may have considered that, but I've never looked into it. Always learning something new on these forums I am.