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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Key to predicting climate change could be blowing in the wind

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 09:57
Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth's climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study.

Monitoring bacteria on whale skin

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 13:58
Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment. A new study sheds light on the skin microbiome -- a group of microorganisms that live on skin -- in healthy humpback whales, which could aid in future efforts to monitor their health.

NASA's longest running survey of ice shattered records in 2017

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:35
Last year was a record-breaking one for Operation IceBridge, NASA's aerial survey of the state of polar ice.

Polar vortex defies climate change in the Southeast U.S.

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 17:35
Overwhelming scientific evidence has demonstrated that our planet is getting warmer due to climate change, yet parts of the eastern US are actually getting cooler. According to a new study, the location of this anomaly, known as the 'US warming hole,' is a moving target. During the winter and spring, the US warming hole sits over the Southeast, as the polar vortex allows arctic air to plunge into the region, resulting in persistently cooler temperatures.

Sea level rise accelerating: acceleration in 25-year satellite sea level record

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:07
Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady rate per year, but rather accelerating a little every year like a driver merging onto a highway.

First scientific expedition to newly exposed Antarctic ecosystem

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:52
A team of scientists heads to Antarctica this week (14 February) to investigate a mysterious marine ecosystem that’s been hidden beneath an Antarctic ice shelf for up to 120,000 years.  

Lightning storms less likely in a warming planet, study suggests

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:17
Lightning may strike less often in future across the globe as the planet warms, a scientific study suggests.

Why did gas hydrates melt at the end of the last ice age?

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 09:31
Large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane are locked up as solid gas hydrates in the continental slopes of ocean margins. Their stability depends on low temperatures and high pressure. However, other factors that influence gas hydrate stability are not as well understood. A research team has found evidence off the coast of Norway that the amount of sediment deposited on the seafloor can play a crucial role.

Mysterious lives of narwhals

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:14
Narwhals are some of the most elusive creatures in the ocean, spending most of their lives in deep water far from shore. But new research may shed a bit of light on these enigmatic marine mammals.

Cool Snake - Warmth-loving Grass Snake survived the Ice Age in Central Europe

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:25
Using genetic analyses, scientists have discovered that not all Grass Snakes retreated to warm southern refugia during the last Central European Ice Age. They offer first evidence for the survival of a warmth-loving, egg-laying reptile during this cold period.

No volcanic winter in East Africa from ancient Toba eruption

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:18
The Toba supereruption on the island of Sumatra about 74,000 years ago did not cause a six-year-long 'volcanic winter' in East Africa and thereby cause the human population in the region to plummet, according to new research based on an analysis of ancient plant remains from lake cores. The new findings disagree with the Toba catastrophe hypothesis, which says the eruption and its aftermath caused drastic, multi-year cooling and severe ecological disruption in East Africa.

Sea ice algae blooms in the dark

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 13:06
Researchers have measured a new world record: Small ice algae on the underside of the Arctic sea ice live and grow at a light level corresponding to only 0.02 percent of the light at the surface of the ice. Algae are the primary component of the Arctic food web and produce food far earlier in the year than previously thought.

Reduced energy from the sun might occur by mid-century: Now scientists know by how much

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:58
The Sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change.

Sea floor uplift after last ice age causes methane release in the Arctic today

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:58
Present-day release of methane from an area of the Arctic Ocean is an effect of the uplift of the sea floor, rather than anthropogenic ocean warming, a new study states.

Massive reserves of mercury hidden in permafrost

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:42
Researchers have discovered permafrost in the northern hemisphere stores massive amounts of natural mercury, a finding with significant implications for human health and ecosystems worldwide.

North American ice sheet decay decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:31
The changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism.

Climate variability -- past and future

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:31
On the basis of a unique global comparison of data from core samples extracted from the ocean floor and the polar ice sheets, researchers have now demonstrated that, though climate changes have indeed decreased around the globe from glacial to interglacial periods, the difference is by no means as pronounced as previously assumed. Until now, it was believed that glacial periods were characterized by extreme temperature variability, while interglacial periods were relatively stable.

Toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:32
About 12,800 years ago, thanks to fragments of a comet, humans saw an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth's land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, consumed by fires.

Arctic lakes are releasing relatively young carbon

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 08:26
When Arctic permafrost soil thaws, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, but most of the carbon currently escaping from lakes in northern Alaska is relatively young, according to a new study.

Most of last 11,000 years cooler than past decade in North America, Europe

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:44
Natural fluctuations in climate have occurred over past millennia, which would have naturally led to climatic cooling today in the absence of human activity.