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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 43 min 12 sec ago

Circulation of water in deep Earth's interior

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:00
The existence of water in deep Earth is considered to play an important role in geodynamics, because water drastically changes the physical properties of mantle rock, such as melting temperature, electric conductivity, and rheological properties. Water is transported into deep Earth by the hydrous minerals in the subducting cold plates. Hydrous minerals, such as serpentine, mica and clay minerals, contain water in the form of hydroxyl (-OH) in the crystal structure. Most of the hydrous minerals decompose into anhydrous minerals and water when they are transported into deep Earth, at 40-100 km depth, due to the high temperature and pressure conditions.

July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 12:08
Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.

Ice sheets impact core elements of the Earth's carbon cycle

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 07:12
The Earth's carbon cycle is crucial in controlling the greenhouse gas content of our atmosphere, and ultimately our climate.

New insight into glaciers regulating global silicon cycling

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:52
A new review of silicon cycling in glacial environments highlights the potential importance of glaciers in exporting silicon to downstream ecosystems.

Arctic could be iceless in September if temps increase 2 degrees

Tue, 08/13/2019 - 15:05
Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study.

Icebergs delay Southern Hemisphere future warming, study shows

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 16:23
Future warming can accelerate the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet. A large fraction of the ice will enter the Southern Ocean in form of icebergs, which melt and provide a cooling and freshening effect to the warmer and denser ocean water. This process will increase the formation of sea-ice and shift winds and ocean currents. The overall effect is a slowdown in the magnitude of human-induced Southern Hemispheric warming and sea-level rise, according to a new study.

Arctic sea-ice loss has 'minimal influence' on severe cold winter weather

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 12:08
The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice through climate change has only a 'minimal influence' on severe cold winter weather across Asia and North America, new research has shown.

Ten years of icy data show the flow of heat from the Arctic seafloor

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 17:57
In addition to 10 years of data on the flow of heat in the Arctic ocean seafloor, researchers have published an analysis of that data using modern seismic data.

Why humans in Africa fled to the mountains during the last ice age

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 14:25
People in Ethiopia did not live in low valleys during the last ice age. Instead they lived high up in the inhospitable Bale Mountains where they had enough water, built tools out of obsidian and relied mainly on giant mole rats for nourishment.Researchers provides the first evidence that our African ancestors had already settled in the mountains during the Palaeolithic period, about 45,000 years ago.

Over a century of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed with help from historic ships' logs

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 12:35
A new study provides a 110-year record of the total volume of Arctic sea ice, using early US ships' voyages to verify the earlier part of the record. The current sea ice volume and rate of loss are unprecedented in the 110-year record.

Earth's last magnetic field reversal took far longer than once thought

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 08:14
Every several hundred thousand years or so, Earth's magnetic field dramatically shifts and reverses its polarity. Geologist found that the most recent field reversal, some 770,000 years ago, took at least 22,000 years to complete. That's several times longer than previously thought, and the results further call into question controversial findings that some reversals could occur within a human lifetime.

Ancient plankton help researchers predict near-future climate

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 11:01
Temperature data inferred from plankton fossils from the Pliocene, an era with CO2 levels similar to today's, allowed a team to rectify discrepancies between climate models and other proxy temperature measurements.

Krypton reveals ancient water beneath the Israeli desert

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 11:54
Getting reliable precipitation data from the past has proven difficult, as is predicting regional changes for climate models in the present. A combination of isotope techniques may help resolve both.

Underwater glacial melting is occurring at higher rates than modeling predicts

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 14:04
Researchers have developed a new method to allow for the first direct measurement of the submarine melt rate of a tidewater glacier, and, in doing so, they concluded that current theoretical models may be underestimating glacial melt by up to two orders of magnitude.

Volcanoes shaped the climate before humankind

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:36
Five large volcanic eruptions occurred in the early 19th century. They caused cooling and -- as a new study shows -- to drying in the monsoon regions and glaciers growing in the Alps. The study shows that the pre-industrial climate was not constant: if one takes this cold period as the starting point for current global warming, the climate has already warmed up more than assumed in the current discussions.

Causes of multidecadal climate changes

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:16
A new reconstruction of global average surface temperature change over the past 2,000 years has identified the main causes for decade-scale climate changes. The new temperature reconstruction also largely agrees with climate model simulations of the same time period. This suggests that current climate models accurately represent the contributions of various influences on global climate change -- and are capable of correctly predicting future climate warming.

Climate is warming faster than it has in the last 2,000 years

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:16
In contrast to pre-industrial climate fluctuations, current, anthropogenic climate change is occurring across the whole world at the same time, according to new studies. In addition, the speed of global warming is higher than it has been in at least 2,000 years.

Robots roaming in Antarctic waters reveal why Ross Ice Shelf melts rapidly in summer

Mon, 07/22/2019 - 14:52
A new study reveals how local factors influence the Ross Ice Shelf's stability, refining predictions of how it will change and influence sea rise in the future.

Geoscientists discover mechanisms controlling Greenland ice sheet collapse

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 12:55
New radar technology allowed geoscientists to look at Greenland's dynamic ice-ocean interface that drives sea level rise.

Strong storms also play big role in Antarctic ice shelf collapse

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 15:48
Warming temperatures and changes in ocean circulation and salinity are driving the breakup of ice sheets in Antarctica, but a new study suggests that intense storms may help push the system over the edge.