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Ice cores from continental ice accumulations also provide a complete record, but do not go as far back in time as marine data. The Don Till, however, was clearly a major event, apparently the most extensive of all glaciations in central Russia.By 1985, a number geological societies agreed to set the beginning of the Pleistocene Epoch about 1,800,000 years ago, a figure coincident with the onset of glaciation in Europe and .Modern research, however, has shown that large glaciers had formed in other parts of the world earlier than 1,800,000 years ago.
Following studies by a series of international working groups, correlation programs, and stratigraphic commissions, agreement was reached in 1985 to place the lower boundary of the Pleistocene series at the base of marine claystones that conformably overlie a specific in the Vrica section in Calabria.Within ice ages, there exist periods of more severe glacial conditions and more temperate referred to as glacial periods and interglacial periods, respectively.The Earth is currently in such an interglacial period of the Quaternary Ice Age, with the last glacial period of the Quaternary having ended approximately 11,700 years ago with the start of the Holocene epoch.The current ice age, called the Quaternary glaciation, has seen more or less extensive glaciation on 40,000 and later, 100,000 year cycles.Originally, the glacial and interglacial periods of the Quaternary Ice Age were named after characteristic geological features, and these names varied from region to region.
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The Earth was just over 2 billion years old, and home only to unicellular life-forms.