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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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Scientists map huge undersea fresh-water aquifer off U.S. Northeast

Fri, 06/21/2019 - 13:03
In a new survey of the sub-seafloor off the U.S. Northeast coast, scientists have made a surprising discovery: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world.

Do ice cores help to unravel the clouds of climate history?

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 14:56
For the first time, an international research team has investigated atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) in ice cores, which can provide insights on the type of cloud cover in the Arctic over the last 500 years. These INPs play an important role in the formation of ice in clouds and thus have a major influence on the climate.

Melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled in recent years

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:25
A newly comprehensive study shows that melting of Himalayan glaciers caused by rising temperatures has accelerated dramatically since the start of the 21st century.

New research shows an iceless Greenland may be in our future

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 13:25
New research shows that Greenland may be ice-free by the year 3000. This research uses new data on the landscape under the ice to make breakthroughs in modeling the island's future. The findings show if greenhouse gas concentrations remain on their current path, the melting ice from Greenland alone could contribute as much as 24 feet to global sea level rise by the time it disappears.

New evidence shows rapid response in the West Greenland landscape to Arctic climate shifts

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 08:48
Evidence from an Arctic ecosystem experiencing rapid climate change reveals surprisingly tight coupling of environmental responses to climate shifts. Links between abrupt climate change and environmental response have long been considered delayed or dampened by internal ecosystem dynamics, or only strong when climate shifts are large in magnitude. The research team presents evidence that climate shifts of even moderate magnitude can rapidly force strong, pervasive environmental changes across a high-latitude system.

Crocs' climate clock: Ancient distribution of Crocs could reveal more about past climates

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 07:56
Underneath their tough exteriors, some crocodilians have a sensitive side that scientists could use to shine light on our ancient climate.

New study shows how environmental disruptions affected ancient societies

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 11:35
A new study shows that over the past 10,000 years, humanity has experienced a number of foundational transitions, or 'bottlenecks.' During these periods of transition, the advance or decline of societies was related to energy availability in the form of a benign climate and other factors.

New insight from Great Barrier Reef coral provides correction factor to climate records

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 11:35
Newly developed geological techniques help uncover the most accurate and high-resolution climate records to date, according to a new study. The research finds that the standard practice of using modern and fossil coral to measure sea-surface temperatures may not be as straightforward as originally thought. By combining high-resolution microscopic techniques and geochemical modeling, researchers are using the formational history of Porites coral skeletons to fine-tune the records used to make global climate predictions.

Leaving microbes out of climate change conversation has major consequences, experts warn

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 10:31
Leading microbiologists have issued a warning, saying that not including microbes -- the support system of the biosphere -- in the climate change equation will have major negative flow-on effects.

Past climate change: A warning for the future?

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 15:46
A new study of climate changes and their effects on past societies offers a sobering glimpse of social upheavals that might happen in the future. The prehistoric groups studied lived in the Amazon Basin of South America hundreds of years ago, before European contact, but the disruptions that occurred may carry lessons for our time.

100-year-old physics model replicates modern Arctic ice melt

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 07:48
A nearly 100-year-old physics model captures the essential mechanism of pattern formation and geometry of Arctic melt ponds.

The complex fate of Antarctic species in the face of a changing climate

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 06:17
Researchers have presented support for the theory that marine invertebrates with larger body size are generally more sensitive to reductions in oxygen than smaller animals, and so will be more sensitive to future global climate change. However, evolutionary innovation can to some extent offset any respiratory disadvantages of large body size.

Warming waters in western tropical Pacific may affect West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 08:52
Warming waters in the western tropical Pacific Ocean have significantly increased thunderstorms and rainfall, which may affect the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and global sea-level rise, according to a new tudy.

Rising sea levels destroyed evidence of shell middens at many prehistoric coastal sites

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 13:14
In a new study, researchers confirm a theory from the 1970s that coastal hunter-gatherers processed much of their shellfish at the beach before returning with their meat to camps on higher ground, leaving the heavy shells by the water. This finding has dramatic implications for past analyses of hunter-gatherer diets -- because many beachside shell middens would now be destroyed or underwater due to past sea level rises since the last Ice Age.

Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 13:13
Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in old ice and snow, US and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much have 'bad' ozone levels increased since the start of the Industrial Revolution?

Mysterious holes in Antarctic sea ice explained by years of robotic data

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 10:15
Why did a giant hole appear in the sea ice off Antarctica in 2016 and 2017, after decades of more typical sea ice cover? Years of Southern Ocean data have explained the phenomenon, helping oceanographers to better predict these features and study their role in global ocean cycles.

Rapid retreat of Arctic coastline revealed in images from the air

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:04
Drone surveys have revealed extreme erosion on the Arctic coastline, highlight the ongoing change in the region in a warming climate.

Glacial sediments greased the gears of plate tectonics

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 12:35
The transition to plate tectonics started with the help of lubricating sediments, scraped by glaciers from the slopes of Earth's first continents, according to new research.

Patagonia ice sheets thicker than previously thought

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 09:16
A new study of Patagonia's ice fields finds that many glaciers in the region are much thicker than previously thought.

Plant lineage points to different evolutionary playbook for temperate species

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 15:38
An ancient, cosmopolitan lineage of plants is shaking up scientists' understanding of how quickly species evolve in temperate ecosystems and why.

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