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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

Antarctic snowfall dominated by a few extreme snowstorms

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:20
A new study reveals the importance of a small number of intense storms around Antarctica in controlling the amount of snow falling across the continent.

Clouds have moderated warming triggered by climate change

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:04
Researchers have analyzed information contained in the rings of ancient pine trees from northern Scandinavia to reveal how clouds have reduced the impact of natural phases of warmth in the past and are doing so again now to moderate the warming caused by anthropogenic climate change.

Tall ice-cliffs may trigger big calving events -- and fast sea-level rise

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:33
Glaciers that drain ice sheets such as Antarctica or Greenland often flow into the ocean, ending in near-vertical cliffs. As the glacier flows into the sea, chunks of the ice break off in calving events. Although much calving occurs when the ocean melts the front of the ice, and ice cliff above falls down, a new study presents another method of calving: slumping. And this process could break off much larger chunks of ice at a quicker rate.

Research investigates impact of climate change on glacier-fed rivers in Peru

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 09:28
Remote communities in the Peruvian Andes, as well as communities downstream, depend on the water from melting glaciers and mountain ecosystems to provide them with food and power, and to support industry.

The inbis channel: The most complete submarine cartography

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:11
A scientific study describes for the first time the submarine cartography of a high-latitude system in the IBIS channel, which covers tens of kilometers in the northern western area of the Barents Sea, in the Arctic Ocean. This channel is one of the few submarine valleys in polar latitudes that kept its geological architecture during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

Arctic sea ice 2019 wintertime extent is seventh lowest

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:11
Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual maximum extent after growing through the fall and winter. The 2019 wintertime extent reached on March 13 ties with 2007's as the 7th smallest extent of winter sea ice in the satellite record, according to scientists.

Biodiversity patterns in Antarctic Dry Valleys

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:21
'Surprisingly, we found that biotic, or living, interactions are crucial in shaping biodiversity patterns even in the extreme ecosystems of the Antarctic Dry Valleys.'

US indoor climate most similar to northeast African outdoors

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:21
Americans are most comfortable when their indoor climate is like the northeast African outdoors -- warm and relatively dry.

Changes in ocean 'conveyor belt' foretold abrupt climate changes by four centuries

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 09:21
In the Atlantic Ocean, a giant 'conveyor belt' carries warm waters from the tropics into the North Atlantic, where they cool and sink and then return southwards in the deep ocean. This circulation pattern is an important player in the global climate. Evidence increasingly suggests that this system is slowing down, and some scientists fear it could have major effects. A new study provides insight into how quickly such changes could take effect if the system continues weakening.

New perspective on changing travel conditions in Arctic communities

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:10
Inuit communities' travel skills and regional knowledge have helped mitigate the effects of Arctic climate change on travel conditions, according to a new study.

Sources and Sinks: What drives long-term climatic trends?

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 18:25
For the entire history of our species, humans have lived on a planet capped by a chunk of ice at each pole. But Earth has been ice-free for about 75 percent of the time since complex life first appeared. This variation in background climate, between partly glaciated and ice-free, has puzzled geologists for decades.

Tectonics in the tropics trigger Earth's ice ages

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 14:16
Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages -- periods during which global temperatures plummeted, producing extensive ice sheets and glaciers that have stretched beyond the polar caps. Now scientists have identified the likely trigger for these ice ages.

Major cosmic impact 12,800 years ago

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 13:06
When geologists set out years ago to examine signs of a major cosmic impact that occurred toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch, little did they know just how far-reaching the projected climatic effect would be.

Research connects dots among ocean dynamics, drought and forests

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 16:31
A new study has found predictable, traceable connections between changes in how the Atlantic Ocean flowed and operated with centuries-long droughts and changes in forest makeup.

Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 14:27
Solar storms can be far more powerful than previously thought. A new study has found evidence for the third known case of a massive solar storm in historical times. The researchers believe that society might not be sufficiently prepared if a similar event were to happen now.

New nitrogen source in Arctic

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:09
Scientists have revealed that the partnership between an alga and bacteria is making the essential element nitrogen newly available in the Arctic Ocean. The microbial process of 'nitrogen fixation' converts the element into a form that organisms can use, and was discovered recently in the frigid polar waters. This shift may be a result of climate change and could affect global chemical cycles.

It's raining on the Greenland ice -- in the winter

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:14
Rainy weather is becoming increasingly common over parts of the Greenland ice sheet, triggering sudden melting events that are eating at the ice and priming the surface for more widespread future melting, says a new study. Some parts of the ice sheet are even receiving rain in winter -- a phenomenon that will spread as climate continues to warm, say the researchers.

Migrating snowline plays outsized role in setting pace of Greenland ice melt

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 14:24
Meltwater from Greenland's ice sheet is a leading contributor to global sea level rise, and a new study shows that an underappreciated factor -- the position of the snowline on the ice sheet -- plays a key role in setting the pace of melting.

New insights into the geographical landscape of prehistoric central Tibet

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 13:30
Scientists have uncovered new evidence, using recently-discovered 25-million-year-old fossilized palm leaves, that Tibet's geography was not as 'high and dry' as previously thought.

As sea level rises, wetlands crank up their carbon storage

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:14
Some wetlands perform better under pressure. A new study revealed that when faced with sea-level rise, coastal wetlands respond by burying even more carbon in their soils.