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Abstract

Abundant evidence from many fields indicates very strongly that the Arctic Ocean was ice- free during the Wisconsin glacial stage, and it is postulated that the ice-free condition of the ocean is directly responsible for the glacial stage. It is shown that the oscillations between ice- free and ice-covered states of the Arctic Ocean which could occur, would account for the al-ternations of Pleistocene climate.

Although the Pleistocene climate oscillations of the northern hemisphere produced simul-taneous oscillations in the southern hemisphere, it is concluded that the Antarctic ice cap persisted without major change through the Pleistocene.

The transition from the climate of the early Tertiary to that of the Pleistocene, as typified by the cooling of Western North America which began in the Oliogocene Epoch, is attributed to a shift of the geographic poles from oceanic positions to their present thermally isolated positions. This shift is discussed in the light of paleomagnetic and paleobiological data.

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