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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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Massive craters formed by methane blow-outs from the Arctic sea floor

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 14:18
Hundreds of massive, kilometer-wide craters on the ocean floor in the Arctic were formed by substantial methane expulsions, new research explains.

Geoscientific evidence for subglacial lakes

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 07:22
During the last glacial period -- when the ice in the Antarctic was far thicker and extended further offshore than it does today -- it has been speculated that subglacial lakes existed beneath it. An international team of researchers has now successfully sampled the meter-thick sediment layers left behind by these lakes contemporary on the seafloor.

Human activity has polluted European air for 2,000 years

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 09:33
A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

Previously, on Arctic warming

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 13:48
Arctic warming occurred in the early 20th century due to the warming phases -- 'interdecadal variability mode' -- of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, suggests new research.

Death by volcano?

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 07:23
The discovery of anomalously high levels of mercury in rocks from the Ordivician geological period has led to a new interpretation of the ensuing mass extinction. A sequence of disturbances may have led to catastrophic cooling by reflective sulfate aerosols injected into the atmosphere by massive volcanism. The finding is important since aerosol cooling is under consideration as a way to temper global warming.

'Tiny clocks' crystallize understanding of meteorite crashes

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 13:37
Scientists are using new imaging techniques to measure the atomic nanostructure of ancient crystal fragments at meteorite impact sites. The end goal? To understand when impacts ended and life began.

Fossil beetles suggest that LA climate has been relatively stable for 50,000 years

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:11
Research based on more than 180 fossil insects preserved in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles indicate that the climate in what is now southern California has been relatively stable over the past 50,000 years.

Weathering of rocks a poor regulator of global temperatures

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:20
Evidence from the age of the dinosaurs to today shows that chemical weathering of rocks is less sensitive to global temperature, and may depend on the steepness of the surface. The results call into question the role of rocks in setting our planet's temperature over millions of years.

Antarctic has seen widespread change in last 50 years, moss study reveals

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 13:03
In 2013, researchers studying mosses and microbes growing at the southern end of the Antarctic Peninsula documented unprecedented ecological change over the last 50 years, driven by warming temperatures. Now, the same research group has confirmed that those striking changes in the Antarctic are widespread, occurring all across the Peninsula.

A recipe for concrete that can withstand road salt deterioration

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:41
Engineers have known for some time that calcium chloride salt, commonly used as deicer, reacts with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form a chemical byproduct that causes roadways to crumble. A civil engineer is working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces, that can hold its own against the forces of chemical erosion.

Temperatures in the Arctic are

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 07:30
Temperatures in the Arctic are increasing twice as fast as in the rest of the globe, while the Antarctic is warming at a much slower rate. A new study shows that land height could be a 'game changer' when it comes to explaining why temperatures are rising at such different rates in the two regions.

Earth's atmosphere more chemically reactive in cold climates

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:26
A Greenland ice core providing a first glimpse at the history of reactive oxidants shows that for big temperature swings in the past 100,000 years, reactive oxidants are actually higher in cold climates. This means that new mechanisms -- not just water vapor, plant and soil emissions -- must affect the concentration of ozone and other oxidants in the atmosphere.

Porewater salinity: Key to reconstructing 250,000 years of Lake Van’s history

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 08:11
The sediments of Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) are a valuable climate archive. Now, using the salinity measured in sediment porewater, scientists have reconstructed the huge lake-level fluctuations that occurred over the past 250,000 years. This approach – based on simple physical concepts – is likely to be more widely applied in the future.

NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:30
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.

Saying goodbye to glaciers

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 13:19
Glaciers around the world are disappearing before our eyes, and the implications for people are wide-ranging and troubling, a glacier expert concludes in a new study.

Teleconnection between the tropical Pacific and Antarctica

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 08:50
The higher the seawater temperature in the tropical Pacific, the more likely ice breakup will occur in East Antarctica, according to researchers.

Irreversible ocean warming threatens the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 08:50
By the second half of this century, rising air temperatures above the Weddell Sea could set off a self-amplifying meltwater feedback cycle under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, ultimately causing the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic to shrink dramatically.

Shelf sediments reveal climate shifts through the eons

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 16:49
Climate change around Antarctica can severely affect Australia's rainfall and even influence the distribution of wet and dry zones across southeast Asia, an international study has revealed.

Glaciers rapidly shrinking and disappearing: 50 years of glacier change in Montana

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:19
The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent. On average, the glaciers have reduced by 39 percent and only 26 glaciers are now larger than 25 acres, which is used as a guideline for deciding if bodies of ice are large enough to be considered glaciers.

How do snowflakes form? Chemist sees ice crystal formation in new light

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:19
New research by chemist has shed new light on ice crystal formation by combining an electron backscatter with a large single crystal ice model. Scientists discovered that an ice crystal's flat sides are formed by a hexagon that is larger and consists of a central water molecule surrounded by six others in the same layer.

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