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John Wheeler: During the last Ice Age glacial advance, more land was exposed

Beringia connected Russia's Siberia to Alaska, filling in the northern part of today's Bering Sea.

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FARGO — During the last ice age, so much of the planet's water was locked up in glaciers that sea levels sank to significantly lower levels than today's. At the peak of the last ice advance, Beringia connected Russia's Siberia to Alaska, filling in the northern part of today's Bering Sea. For a brief period of Beringia's history, the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets did cover this land.

When the ice receded, Beringia would have featured very similar vegetation to eastern Asia, although Beringia likely had a slightly wetter climate due to moisture from the North Pacific. The average summer temperatures in this region would have likely been around 5 to 10 degrees colder than today's surrounding regions. Around 10,000 years ago, the glaciers melted enough to raise the sea levels, and Beringia disappeared and gave way to today's Chukotka Peninsula in Russia and Alaska's Seward Peninsula.

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