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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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Local weather impacts melting of one of Antarctica's fastest-retreating glaciers

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 09:00
Local weather plays an important part in the retreat of the ice shelves in West Antarctica, according to new research.

How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 12:15
New research findings explain an Ice Age paradox and add to the mounting evidence that climate change could bring higher seas than most models predict.

Scientists report ocean data from under Greenland's Petermann Glacier

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 11:11
Based on data from the first ocean sensors deployed under Greenland's Petermann Glacier, researchers report that the floating ice shelf is strongly coupled, or tied, to the ocean below and to the adjacent Nares Strait. Warming temperatures recorded at the deepest ocean sensors match data from Nares Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

New pathway for Greenland meltwater to reach ocean

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 11:10
Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet let one of its aquifers drain to the ocean, new NASA research finds. The aquifers, discovered only recently, are unusual in that they trap large amounts of liquid water within the ice sheet. Until now, scientists did not know what happened to the water stored away in this reservoir -- the discovery will help fine tune computer models of Greenland's contribution to sea level rise.

Risk of rapid North Atlantic cooling in 21st century greater than previously estimated

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 07:44
The possibility of major climate change in the Atlantic region has long been recognized and has even been the subject of a Hollywood movie: The Day After Tomorrow. To evaluate the risk of such climate change, researchers developed a new algorithm to analyze the 40 climate models considered by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Their findings raise the probability of rapid North Atlantic cooling during this century to nearly 50%.

Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, study shows

Wed, 02/15/2017 - 07:41
Ice loss from Canada's Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research has found. From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent.

Ancient jars found in Judea reveal Earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 15:27
Surprising new evidence derived from ancient ceramics proves that the Earth's geomagnetic force fluctuates -- not diminishes -- over time, researchers say.

Norwegian ice cap 'exceptionally sensitive' to climate change

Tue, 02/14/2017 - 08:40
How will future climate change affect our glaciers? By looking into the past 4000 years, a new study finds an ice cap in southern Norway to be ‘exceptionally sensitive’ to climate change.

Sunlight or bacteria? Scientists investigate what breaks down permafrost carbon

Mon, 02/13/2017 - 14:26
Researchers found sunlight converted little if any permafrost thawed carbon to carbon dioxide, whereas microbes were shown to rapidly convert permafrost carbon to carbon dioxide.

Litter levels in the depths of the Arctic are on the rise

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 12:09
The Arctic has a serious litter problem: in just 10 years, the concentration of marine litter at a deep-sea station in the Arctic Ocean has risen 20-fold, according to researchers.

Sea-level change in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago has implications for today

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 07:45
Sea level in Southeast Asia fluctuated wildly -- and naturally -- more than 6,000 years ago, twice rising nearly two feet in a period of about 200 years, report researchers.

New details of Greenland ice loss revealed

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 15:38
Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland's ice sheet is melting from below.

Gas hydrate breakdown unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 15:38
A recent interpretive review of scientific literature sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.

Why the ocean has absorbed more carbon over the past decade

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:46
With the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide over the past decade, less of the greenhouse gas is reaching the Earth's atmosphere. That's decidedly good news, but it comes with a catch: Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean promote acidification, which breaks down the calcium carbonate shells of some marine organisms.

Hidden lakes drain below West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 12:19
Drainage of four interconnected lakes below Thwaites Glacier in late 2013 caused only a 10 percent increase in the glacier's speed. The glacier's recent speedup is therefore not due to changes in meltwater flow along its underside.

Oxygen content increased when Earth was covered in ice

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 09:43
In the beginning, planet Earth was a very inhospitable place with no oxygen and only single-celled bacteria as inhabitants. According to a new study, the oxygen content in the air began to increase about 2.4 billion years ago, at the same time as the global glaciation and when all continents were gathered in a single huge landmass, or supercontinent. How to explain the exact connection between these events, however, is a question that baffles the researchers.

Planet's atmospheric oxygen rose through glaciers

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 08:28
A 'Snowball Earth' event actually took place 100 million years earlier than previously projected, outlines a new report.

Study traces black carbon sources in the Russian Arctic

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 09:15
Transport and residential heating could be responsible for a greater contribution of black carbon in the Russian Arctic compared to gas flaring or power plants, according to new research.

Lab specializes in analyzing brittle portion of polar ice cores

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 15:32
Tiny air bubbles compressed within a polar ice core make some sections brittle to the touch, but one ice core lab knows how to handle this delicate part of the chemical analysis, thus making the dating of the entire ice core possible.

Coal mine dust lowers spectral reflectance of Arctic snow by up to 84 percent

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:05
Dust released by an active coal mine in Svalbard, Norway, reduced the spectral reflectance of nearby snow and ice by up to 84 percent, according to new research.