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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
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Climate change affects the genetic diversity of a species

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 09:27
What effects does climate change have on the genetic diversity of living organisms? In a new study, researchers studied the genome of the alpine marmot. Results were unexpected: the species was found to be the least genetically diverse of any wild mammal studied to date. The alpine marmot has lost its genetic diversity during ice-age related climate events and been unable to recover its diversity since.

GRACE data contributes to understanding of climate change

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 12:02
The team that led a twin satellite system launched in 2002 to take detailed measurements of the Earth, called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), reports on the contributions that their nearly two decades of data have made to our understanding of global climate patterns.

A family of comets reopens the debate about the origin of Earth's water

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:14
Researchers have found that one family of comets, the hyperactive comets, contains water similar to terrestrial water.

Melting small glaciers could add 10 inches to sea levels

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 09:49
A new review of glacier research data paints a picture of a future planet with a lot less ice and a lot more water.

Widespread permafrost degradation seen in high Arctic terrain

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 08:13
Rapid changes in terrain are taking place in Canada's high Arctic polar deserts due to increases in summer air temperatures.

Massive Martian ice discovery opens a window into Red Planet's history

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 13:17
Newly discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars' north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to scientists. The layers of ice are a record of past climate on Mars in much the same way tree rings are a record of climate on Earth.

River valleys helped shape current genetic landscape of Han Chinese

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:37
New research shows the importance of how the three main river valleys in China contributed to Han genetic diversity.

Better understanding of the effect of melting ice sheets: Experts weigh in

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:30
Using a technique called structured expert judgment, researchers asked 22 ice sheet experts to estimate plausible ranges for future sea level rise due to the projected melting of each of the Greenland, West Antarctic and East Antarctic ice sheets under low and high future global temperature rise scenarios.

How Earth's mantle is like a Jackson Pollock painting

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 10:57
New research paints an intricate picture of Earth's mantle as a geochemically diverse mosaic, far different from the relatively uniform lavas that eventually reach the surface.

Nearly a quarter of West Antarctic ice is now unstable

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:46
In only 25 years, ocean melting has caused ice thinning to spread across West Antarctica so rapidly that a quarter of its glacier ice is now affected, according to a new study.

Warming climate threatens microbes in alpine streams

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:08
Changes to alpine streams fed by glaciers and snowfields due to a warming climate threaten to dramatically alter the types of bacteria and other microbes in those streams, according to new research. But streams that are fed by underground ice insulated by rock -- called 'icy seeps' -- offer some hope that the impact of climate change will be less severe in some areas.

How ocean melts Antarctic Ice Sheet

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 10:03
An innovative use of instruments that measure the ocean near Antarctica has helped scientists to get a clearer picture of how the ocean is melting the Antarctic ice sheet. Until now, most measurements in Antarctica were made during summer, leaving winter conditions, when the sea freezes over with ice, largely unknown.

Ancient DNA suggests that some Northern Europeans got their languages from Siberia

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 13:26
Most Europeans descend from a combination of European hunter-gatherers, Anatolian early farmers, and Steppe herders. But only European speakers of Uralic languages like Estonian and Finnish also have DNA from ancient Siberians. Now, with the help of ancient DNA samples, researchers suggest that these languages may have arrived from Siberia by the beginning of the Iron Age, about 2,500 years ago, rather than evolving in Northern Europe.

Oldest known trees in eastern North America documented

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 11:51
A stand of bald cypress trees in North Carolina, including one least 2,624 years old, are the oldest known living trees in eastern North America and the oldest wetland tree species in the world. They show evidence of severe flooding and drought during colonial and pre-colonial times.

Abrupt climate change drove early South American population decline

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:00
Abrupt climate change some 8,000 years ago led to a dramatic decline in early South American populations, suggests new research.

Tsunami signals to measure glacier calving in Greenland

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 08:37
Scientists have employed a new method utilizing tsunami signals to calculate the calving magnitude of an ocean-terminating glacier in northwestern Greenland, uncovering correlations between calving flux and environmental factors such as air temperature, ice speed, and ocean tides.

'Impossible' research produces 400-year El Niño record, revealing startling changes

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:14
Coral experts around the world said it was impossible to extract a multi-century record of El Niño events. But now a persistent effort has produced the world's first 400-year long record of El Niño events. And the changes researchers have found to El Niños in recent decades are startling.

Forest fires accelerating snowmelt across western US

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 13:33
Forest fires are causing snow to melt earlier in the season, a trend occurring across the western US that may affect water supplies and trigger even more fires, according to a new study.

Explosive volcanism during ice age: study provides lessons for today's rising carbon dioxide

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 10:35
A study recently found that explosive volcanic eruptions were at least three to eight times more frequent during the peak of the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (about 360 to 260 million years ago).

Rapid permafrost thaw unrecognized threat to landscape, global warming researcher warns

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:17
Researchers have assessed abrupt thaw studies across the permafrost zone to estimate the overall effect. They found carbon emissions have the potential to double the climate feedback associated with permafrost thawing because abrupt thaw releases more methane. It will also have drastic effects on landscape, from altering traditional travel and hunting patterns in the North, to causing costly infrastructure damage to roads and rail lines.

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