iceage. A period when the quantity of snow and ice on the earth’s surface was at least double what it is today. The earth has experienced many ice ages going back more than 570 million years. The most recent ice age ended about 10-12,000 years ago and, given that there have been at least 20 interglacial (between ice age) periods in the past 3 million years, the current warm period in which we live is viewed by some scientists as an interglacial rather than post-glacial period. FURTHER READING Wilson, Drury and Chapman (2000). ice-core samples. Samples of ice obtained from glaciers that can be used to determine the composition of the earth’s atmosphere at the time the glacier was formed. icehouse effect. Term used to describe the factors that can combine to produce an ice age. identity matrix. A square matrix whose elements along its main diagonal (elements aij where i=j) are all equal to one and every other element equals zero. IGOs. Acronym for intergovernmental organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). illite. A type of clay formed by the weathering of feldspars and mica. imission. Term used in Germany to describe emissions from distant sources that have negative local effects. impact analysis. An analysis where decision makers weigh the consequences of different actions or policies, as measured by changes in variables stemming from the different actions. impact area/zone. The area in which the environment is likely to be affected by a specific policy. implicit costs....
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