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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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Behind the iron curtain: How methane-making microbes kept the early Earth warm

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 12:10
Using mud pulled from the bottom of a tropical lake, researchers at have gained a new grasp of how ancient microbes made methane in the complex iron chemistry of the early Earth.

Retreating Yukon glacier caused a river to disappear

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 10:48
A postmortem of the first known case of 'river piracy' in modern times outlines how a retreating glacier in the Yukon diverted water from one river to another, leading to many downstream effects.

Glacier shape influences susceptibility to thinning

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 10:48
Researchers have identified glaciers in West Greenland that are most susceptible to thinning in the coming decades by analyzing how they're shaped. The research could help predict how much the Greenland Ice Sheet will contribute to future sea-level rise during the next century, a number that currently ranges from inches to feet.

Polar glaciers may be home to previously undiscovered carbon cycle

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 09:59
Microbes in streams flowing on the surface of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic may represent a previously underestimated source of organic material and be part of an as yet undiscovered 'dynamic local carbon cycle,' according to a new paper.

New England's glacial upland soils provide major groundwater storage reservoir

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 14:10
A study of natural groundwater storage reservoirs in New England found that upland aquifer systems dominated by thin deposits of surface till -- a jumbled, unsorted material deposited by glaciers -- make up about 70 percent of the region's active and dynamic storage. This is the first time that the relative role of upland vs. valley groundwater storage has been quantified.

Precision chronology sheds new light on the origins of Mongolia's nomadic horse culture

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 12:08
According to new research, nomadic horse culture -- famously associated with Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes -- can trace its roots back more than 3,000 years in the eastern Eurasian Steppes, in the territory of modern Mongolia.

Unraveling the drivers of large iceberg movement

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 09:45
When, in the foreseeable future, a tabular iceberg nearly seven times the size of Berlin breaks off the Larsen C Ice Shelf in the Antarctic, it will begin a journey, the course of which climate researchers can accurately predict.

Stalagmites store paleoclimate data

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 07:59
The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the dominant atmospheric pressure mode over the North Atlantic that plays a significant role in determining the winter climate in Europe. Depending on the prevailing state of the NAO, Europe experiences mild or very cold winters and even strong storms. Geoscientists are currently reconstructing the fluctuations of the NAO over the last 10,000 years with the aim of being able to predict future developments. For this purpose, they use stalagmites obtained from subterranean caves as natural climate archives and are examining new indicators of climate change to retrieve climate information that is as accurate as possible. Initial results indicate that it is likely that the NAO will respond to the melting of the Arctic ice cap in the future, with consequences for our climate, environment, and society as a whole.

Prehistoric alpine farming in the Bernese Oberland

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 14:23
The people in Switzerland were on the move in the High Alps and running alpine pastures 7,000 years ago and therefore much earlier than previously assumed. A study that combines archaeological knowledge with findings from palaeoecology comes to this conclusion. Prehistoric finds from the Schnidejoch Pass played a crucial part in this.

The Arctic Ocean is becoming more like the Atlantic

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 13:39
The eastern Arctic Ocean is becoming more like the Atlantic Ocean, a new study combining remote sensing and local data finds.

Tibet sediments reveal climate patterns from late Miocene, 6 million years ago

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:15
Researchers surveyed sediment samples from the northern Tibetan Plateau's Qaidam Basin and constructed paleoclimate cycle records from the late Miocene epoch of Earth's history, which lasted from approximately 11 to 5.3 million years ago. Reconstructing past climate records can help scientists determine both natural patterns and the ways in which future glacial events and greenhouse gas emissions may affect global systems.

New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 09:26
New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago, correcting previous theories.

Unraveling the mystery of snowflakes, from the Alps to Antarctica

Thu, 04/06/2017 - 09:25
Researchers have gained important insights into the structure of snowflakes using a pioneering new approach and a special multi-angle camera.

Plants have been helping to offset climate change, but now it's up to us

Wed, 04/05/2017 - 12:10
Plants are currently removing more carbon dioxide from the air than they did 200 years ago, according to new work. This team's findings affirm estimates used in models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Future carbon dioxide, climate warming potentially unprecedented in 420 million years

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 11:44
Over the next 100 to 200 years, carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere will head towards values not seen since the Triassic period, 200 million years ago. Furthermore, by the 23rd century, the climate could reach a warmth not seen in 420 million years, say researchers.

Paintings, sunspots and frost fairs: Rethinking the Little Ice Age

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 07:44
The whole concept of the 'Little Ice Age' is 'misleading,' as the changes were small-scale, seasonal and insignificant compared with present-day global warming, a group of solar and climate scientists argue.

Microbes on ice sheets produce bioreactive carbon that is exported to downstream ecosystems

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 11:33
Glaciers and ice sheets have recently been considered significant sources of organic carbon and provide nutrients to downstream marine ecosystems.

Microbial colonizers of Arctic soils are sensitive to future climate change

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 08:13
Ecosystems created by melting glaciers in the Arctic are sensitive to climate change and human activity, new research indicates.

Climate seesaw at the end of the last glacial phase

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 11:03
A change in precipitation at one location may be caused by changes on the other side of the planet. An international team with the participation of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences now investigated Japanese lake sediments to decipher the interplay between local climate changes on the northern hemisphere about 12,000 years ago. Their results show that a regional warming in Europe caused a cooling and an increase in snowfall in East Asia.

Some of Greenland's coastal ice will be permanently lost by 2100

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 11:03
The glaciers and ice caps that dot the edges of the Greenland coast are not likely to recover from the melting they are experiencing now, a study has found.