The ice-sheets were localized, not universal, though it is probable that the entire world felt the effects of the lowered temperature. At the time of maximum extension of the ice, it covered nearly 4,000,000 square miles in North America, especially toward the northeast of the continent; in Europe the ice-cap which covered the north, Great Britain, Scandinavia, North Germany, etc., is computed at 770,000 square miles (A. Geikie), and the Alps were deeply buried in ice, which flowed far out over the surrounding lowlands. Glaciation in Asia was principally confined to the mountain ranges, as in Asia Minor; on the south side of the Himalayas the ice descended to within 3000 feet of the present sea-level. On Mt. Kenya, which is almost on the equator in eastern Africa and still has glaciers, the presumably Pleistocene ice covered the whole mountain like a cap, descending 5400 feet below the present glacier limit. In New Zealand the ice also descended below the present sea-level and some of the old moraines stand in the sea. The Australian Alps and the western highlands of Tasmania bore extensive glaciers, which, however, ended 1000 to 2000 feet above the sea. The glaciers of the Patagonian Andes extended to the foot of the mountains and out upon the plains, which were then probably submerged.

Thus, the northern hemisphere, above all, North America, was the region of the most extensive Pleistocene glaciation, but in the southern hemisphere, and even in the tropics, its effects are visible.