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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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Antarctic ice sheet could suffer a one-two climate punch

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 10:42
Variations in the axial tilt of the Earth have significant implications for the rise and fall of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, the miles-deep blanket of ice that locks up huge volumes of water that, if melted, would dramatically elevate sea level and alter the world's coastlines. New research matches the geologic record of Antarctica's ice with the periodic astronomical motions of the Earth.

Upper-ocean warming is changing the global wave climate, making waves stronger

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 07:28
Sea level rise puts coastal areas at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, but new research shows they face other climate-related threats as well. Scientists found that the energy of ocean waves has been growing globally, and they found a direct association between ocean warming and the increase in wave energy.

Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 13:18
Heat trapped by greenhouse gases is raising ocean temperatures faster than previously thought, concludes an analysis of four recent ocean heating observations. The results provide further evidence that earlier claims of a slowdown or 'hiatus' in global warming over the past 15 years were unfounded.

Geoscientists reconstruct 'eye-opening' 900-year Northeastern U.S. climate record

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 10:48
Deploying a new technique for the first time in the region, geoscientists have reconstructed the longest and highest-resolution climate record for the Northeastern United States, which reveals previously undetected past temperature cycles and extends the record 900 years into the past, well beyond the previous early date of 1850.

Algae thrive under Greenland sea ice

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:54
Microscopic marine plants flourish beneath the ice that covers the Greenland Sea, according to a new study. These phytoplankton create the energy that fuels ocean ecosystems, and the study found that half of this energy is produced under the sea ice in late winter and early spring, and the other half at the edge of the ice in spring.

The long memory of the Pacific Ocean

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 11:14
Cold waters that sank in polar regions hundreds of years ago during the Little Ice Age are still impacting deep Pacific Ocean temperature trends. While the deep Pacific temperature trends are small, they represent a large amount of energy in the Earth system.

Melting ice sheets release tons of methane into the atmosphere

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 10:03
The Greenland Ice Sheet emits tons of methane according to a new study, showing that subglacial biological activity impacts the atmosphere far more than previously thought.

A 'pacemaker' for North African climate

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 14:44
Researchers have analyzed dust deposited off the coast of west Africa over the last 240,000 years, and found that the Sahara, and North Africa in general, has swung between wet and dry climates every 20,000 years.

Why is sea level rising faster in some places along the US East Coast than others?

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 12:32
Sea levels are rising globally from ocean warming and melting of land ice, but the seas aren't rising at the same rate everywhere. Sea levels have risen significantly faster in some US East Coast regions compared to others. A new study reveals why.

New light shed on what drove last, long-term global climate shift

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 06:59
The quest to discover what drove the last, long-term global climate shift on Earth, which took place around a million years ago, has taken a new, revealing twist.

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 16:15
Southwest forests may decline in productivity on average as much as 75 percent over the 21st century as climate warms. The finding is based on a treasure trove of about 20,000 unanalyzed tree cores discovered in a Utah laboratory about a decade ago.

A new model of ice friction helps scientists understand how glaciers flow

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 10:51
Despite the looming ecological consequences, glacier motion remains poorly understood. The bedrock, the ice-bed interface and the water-filled cavities all affect friction and influence how the ice will flow, but studying these poses challenges -- remote radar sensing can track glacial movement, but it can't measure detailed properties of the ice and rock.

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 09:17
Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers who have been studying glaciers in those areas for decades.

How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 10:07
When making sense of the massive amount of information packed into an ice core, scientists face a forensic challenge: how best to separate the useful information from the corrupt. Tools from information theory, a branch of complexity science, can quickly flag which segments, in over a million data points, require further investigation.

Asian glaciers slowed by ice loss, NASA finds

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 19:39
Asia's high mountain glaciers are flowing more slowly in response to widespread ice loss, affecting freshwater availability downstream in India, Pakistan and China, a new study finds.

Snow over Antarctica buffered sea level rise during last century

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 13:15
An increase in snowfall accumulation over Antarctica during the 20th century mitigated sea level rise by 0.4 inches. However, Antarctica's additional ice mass gained from snowfall makes up for just about a third of its current ice loss.

Oldest known plant virus found at ancient settlement

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:21
Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.

Warming, sea-ice loss: Arctic Report Card tracks region's environmental changes

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 11:11
NOAA's annual report card on the Arctic, released today, shows that the Arctic region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded; the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering Sea; and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea.

ICESat-2 reveals profile of ice sheets, sea ice, forests

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:30
With each pass of the ICESat-2 satellite, the mission is adding to datasets tracking Earth's rapidly changing ice.

Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:06
Our future on Earth may also be our past. Researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it's taken just two centuries.