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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 46 min 15 sec ago

The narwhal's tusk reveals its past living conditions

Thu, 03/11/2021 - 14:27
Every year, a new growth layer is added to the narwhal's spiralled tusk. The individual layers act as an archive of data that reveals what and where the animal has eaten, providing a glimpse of how the ice and environmental conditions have changed over its long life span (up to 50 years).

47 million year old fly found with a full belly

Thu, 03/11/2021 - 11:34
Scientists have found a previously unknown fossil fly species in old lake sediments of the Messel Pit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany. In the stomach of the fossil insect, pollen from various plants could be detected, which allows rare insights into the feeding behavior, the ecology and the role of the fly as a pollinator.

Extracting information from ancient teeth

Wed, 03/10/2021 - 11:23
There's a surprising amount of information stored in the hardened plaque, or calculus, between teeth. And if that calculus belongs to the remains of a person who lived in ancient times, the information could reveal new insights about the past. But the tiny samples can be difficult to work with. Now, scientists apply a new method to this analysis, finding more proteins than traditional approaches.

An epic walk: 15 million years needed for dinosaurs to get from South America to Greenland

Tue, 03/09/2021 - 10:43
For the first time, two researchers have accurately dated the arrival of the first herbivorous dinosaurs in East Greenland. Their results demonstrate that it took the dinosaurs 15 million years to migrate from the southern hemisphere, as a consequence of being slowed down by extreme climatic conditions. Their long walk was only possible because as CO2 levels dropped suddenly, the Earth's climate became less extreme.

Antarctic Peninsula warming up due to heat in Tasman sea

Tue, 03/09/2021 - 09:01
The Antarctic Peninsula is melting faster than ever. In a recent study, scientists have revealed how heating in the Tasman sea causes warming of the West Antarctic region and leads to melting of ice and rise in sea levels. They suggest that wind streams flowing towards poles from the tropics play an important role in these oceanic and temperature variations. These findings can be helpful to populations that are vulnerable to sea level rise.

Small volcanic lakes tapping giant underground reservoirs

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:37
In its large caldera, Newberry volcano (Oregon, USA) has two small volcanic lakes, one fed by volcanic geothermal fluids (Paulina Lake) and one by gases (East Lake). These popular fishing grounds are small windows into a large underlying reservoir of hydrothermal fluids, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) with minor mercury (Hg) and methane into East Lake.

Antarctic seals reveal worrying threats to disappearing glaciers

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 07:01
More Antarctic meltwater is surfacing than was previously known, modifying the climate, preventing sea ice from forming and boosting marine productivity- according to new research. For the first time, researchers have been able to obtain full-depth glacial meltwater observations in winter, using instruments attached to the heads of seals living near the Pine Island Glacier, in the remote Amundsen Sea in the west of Antarctica.

Field study shows icing can cost wind turbines up to 80% of power production

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 15:10
Researchers took their studies of wind-turbine icing out of the lab and into the field to learn how and where ice accumulates on rotating blades. They learned ice on the blades can reduce power production by up to 80%. The field experiments also validated their experimental findings, theories and predictions.

NASA's ICESat-2 satellite reveals shape, depth of Antarctic ice shelf fractures

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 11:53
When a block of ice the size of Houston, Texas, broke off from East Antarctica's Amery Ice Shelf in 2019, scientists had anticipated the calving event, but not exactly where it would happen. Now, satellite data can help scientists measure the depth and shape of ice shelf fractures to better predict when and where calving events will occur, according to researchers.

Bahamas were settled earlier than believed

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 15:16
It's believed early settlers to the islands eventually changed the landscape of the Bahamas.

Birds: Scientists find strongest evidence yet of 'migration gene'

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 13:25
Biologists say they have found the strongest evidence yet of a 'migration gene' in birds.

Gulf Stream System at its weakest in over a millennium

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:33
Never before in over 1000 years the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as Gulf Stream System, has been as weak as in the last decades. Researchers compiled proxy data, reaching back hundreds of years to reconstruct the AMOC flow history. They found consistent evidence that its slowdown in the 20th century is unprecedented in the past millennium.

Extreme melt on Antarctica's George VI ice shelf

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:33
Antarctica's northern George VI Ice Shelf experienced record melting during the 2019-2020 summer season compared to 31 previous summers of dramatically lower melt, a new study found. Using satellite observations that detect meltwater on top of the ice and within near-surface snow, the researchers found the most widespread melt of any season. Surface meltwater ponding is potentially dangerous to ice shelves because when these lakes drain, the ice fractures and may trigger ice-shelf break-up.

How wildfires may have larger effects on cloud formation than previously thought

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:32
As the frequency and size of wildfires continues to increase worldwide, new research shows how the chemical aging of the particles emitted by these fires can lead to more extensive cloud formation and intense storm development in the atmosphere.

How did dogs get to the Americas? An ancient bone fragment holds clues

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 18:24
Researchers analyzed the dog's mitochondrial genome, and concluded that the animal belonged to a lineage of dogs whose evolutionary history diverged from that of Siberian dogs as early as 16,700 years ago. The timing of that split coincides with a period when humans may have been migrating into North America along a coastal route that included Southeast Alaska.

Alaska thunderstorms may triple with climate change

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 12:55
Warming temperatures will potentially alter the climate in Alaska so profoundly later this century that the number of thunderstorms will triple, increasing the risks of widespread flash flooding, landslides, and lightning-induced wildfires, new research finds.

'Missing ice problem' finally solved

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 10:07
During glacial periods, the sea level falls, because vast quantities of water are stored in the massive inland glaciers. To date, however, computer models have been unable to reconcile sea-level height with the thickness of the glaciers.

Glaciers accelerate in the Getz region of West Antarctica

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 10:04
Glaciers in West Antarctica are moving more quickly from land into the ocean, contributing to rising global sea levels. A 25-year record of satellite observations has been used to show widespread increases in ice speed across the Getz sector for the first time, with some ice accelerating into the ocean by nearly 50%.

Effects of past ice ages more widespread than previously thought

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 18:28
A new study suggests that cold temperatures in unglaciated North America during the last ice age shaped past and modern landscape as far south as Texas and Arkansas.

The melting of large icebergs is a key stage in the evolution of ice ages

Fri, 02/19/2021 - 14:59
A new study, in which the Andalusian Earth Sciences Institute (IACT) (CSIC-UGR) participated, has described for the first time a key stage in the beginning of the great glaciations and indicates that it can happen to our planet in the future. The study claims to have found a new connection that could explain the beginning of the ice ages on Earth.