The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) refers to the time of maximum extent of the ice sheets during the last glacial period, approximately 20,000 years ago. This extreme persisted for several thousand years. It was followed by the Late Glacial Maximum.
At this time, ice sheets covered the whole of Iceland and all but the southern extremity of the British Isles. Northern Europe was largely covered, the southern boundary passing through Germany and Poland, but not quite joined to the British ice sheet. This ice extended northward to cover Svalbard and Franz Josef Land and eastward to occupy the northern half of the West Siberian Plain, ending at the Taymyr Peninsula, and damming the Ob and Yenisei rivers forming a West Siberian Glacial Lake. In North America, the ice covered essentially all of Canada and extended roughly to the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, and eastward to New York City.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered Chile and western Argentina north to about 41 degrees south. Ice sheets also covered Tibet (scientists continue to debate the extent to which the Tibetan Plateau was covered with ice), Baltistan, Ladakh, the Venezuelan Andes and the Andean altiplano. In Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, many smaller mountain glaciers formed, especially in the Atlas, the Bale Mountains, and New Guinea.
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