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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 24 min ago

How predatory plankton created modern ecosystems after 'Snowball Earth'

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:41
Around 635 to 720 million years ago, Earth was twice almost completely covered by ice. The question of how life survived these 'Snowball Earth' glaciations has puzzled scientists for many decades. Researchers have now found the first detailed glimpse of life after the 'Snowball' in the form of newly discovered ancient molecules, buried in old rocks.

Antarctic meltwater streams shed light on longstanding hydrological mystery

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 07:15
In one of the coldest, driest places on Earth, scientists have developed a possible answer to a longstanding mystery about the chemistry of streamflow, which may have broad implications for watersheds and water quality around the world.

Passing aircraft wring extra snow and rain out of clouds

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:33
Planes flying over rain or snow can intensify the precipitation by as much as 10-fold, according to a new study. The rain- and snow-bursts are not caused by emissions from the aircraft but are the peculiar consequence of the aircrafts' wings passing though clouds of supercooled water droplets in cloud layers above a layer of active rain or snow.

European waters drive ocean overturning, key for regulating climate

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:33
An international study reveals the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, which helps regulate Earth's climate, is highly variable and primarily driven by the conversion of warm, salty, shallow waters into colder, fresher, deep waters moving south through the Irminger and Iceland basins. This upends prevailing ideas and may help scientists better predict Arctic ice melt and future changes in the ocean's ability to mitigate climate change by storing excess atmospheric carbon.

Extratropical volcanoes influence climate more than assumed

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 11:22
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 had a significant impact on climate, decreasing global mean temperature by about 0.5°C. Like the famous eruptions of Krakatau (1883) and Tambora (1815), Pinatubo is located in the tropics, which has been considered an important factor underlying its strong climate forcing. New research shows that explosive extratropical eruptions can have a strong impact on the climate too.

Rapidly receding glaciers on Baffin Island reveal long-covered Arctic landscapes

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 10:23
Glacial retreat in the Canadian Arctic has uncovered landscapes that haven't been ice-free in more than 40,000 years and the region may be experiencing its warmest century in 115,000 years.

Scientists drill to record depths in West Antarctica

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 07:49
A team of scientists and engineers has for the first time successfully drilled over two kilometers through the ice sheet in West Antarctica using hot water. This research will help understand how the region will respond to a warming climate.

An icy forecast for ringed seal populations

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 09:58
Scientists have already observed and predicted that high ringed seal pup mortality rates are linked to poor environmental conditions like early ice breakup and low snow. Researchers have now gone a step further by coupling these hypotheses with forecasts of future spring snow and ice conditions, developing a mathematical model, and following it to some stark conclusions for populations off the Amundsen Gulf and Prince Albert Sound in Canada.

Antarctic krill population contracts southward as polar oceans warm

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 10:50
The population of Antarctic krill, the favorite food of many whales, penguins, fish and seals, shifted southward during a recent period of warming in their key habitat, researchers report.

Ancient climate change triggered warming that lasted thousands of years

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 09:45
A rapid rise in temperature on ancient Earth triggered a climate response that may have prolonged the warming for many thousands of years, according to scientists.

Greenland ice melting four times faster than in 2003

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 14:36
Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought -- and will likely lead to faster sea level rise -- thanks to the continued, accelerating warming of the Earth's atmosphere, a new study has found.

Local drivers of amplified Arctic warming

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 08:57
An international team of researchers has unveiled local drivers of amplified arctic warming.

Penguins, starfish, whales: Which animals will win and lose in a warming Antarctic?

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:05
Using risk assessments, like those used for setting occupational safety limits in the workplace, researchers determined the winners and losers of climate change in the Antarctic. They show that marine animals associated with sea ice for food or breeding, such as some whales and penguins, are most at risk from the effects of climate change, while seafloor predators and open-water feeding animals like starfish and jellyfish will benefit from the opening up of new habitat.

Emperor penguins' first journey to sea

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:04
New research reveals the previously unknown behaviors of juvenile Emperor penguins in their critical early months when they leave their birth colony and first learn how to swim, dive, and find food.

Ice Age climate caused sediment sourcing in Gulf of Mexico to switch dramatically

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 17:52
The onset of the most recent ice age about 2.6 million years ago changed where the western Gulf of Mexico gets its supply of sediments. The finding adds new insight into how extreme climate change can directly impact fundamental geological processes and how those impacts play out across different environments.

Breakthrough in ice-repelling materials

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 15:23
Icy weather is blamed for multibillion dollar losses every year in the United States, including delays and damage related to air travel, infrastructure and power generation and transmission facilities. Now researchers have reported creating a durable silicone polymer coating capable of repelling ice from any surface.

Climate change during ancient Indus Civilization

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 12:29
New research on the '4.2 ka BP climatic event' provides rich insights into how rainfall in the northwest of South Asia changed over the critical period between 5400 and 3000 years ago.

Using satellites to measure rates of ice mass loss in glaciers

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:44
Researchers have investigated all glacial areas in South America in more detail than ever before, from the tropical areas to the subpolar regions. Their two major findings are that the highest rate of mass loss is in the Patagonian ice sheet, and that the glaciers in the tropics have lost considerably less mass than previously projected, although this is not the good news which it might appear at first sight.

Scientists identify two new species of fungi in retreating Arctic glacier

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:11
Two new species of fungi have made an appearance in a rapidly melting glacier on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, just west of Greenland.

Antarctica losing six times more ice mass annually now than 40 years ago

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 15:11
Antarctica experienced a sixfold increase in yearly ice mass loss between 1979 and 2017, according to a new study. Glaciologists additionally found that the accelerated melting caused global sea levels to rise more than half an inch during that time.