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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 37 min 12 sec ago

130,000 years of data show peatlands store carbon long-term

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:02
An international team of scientists has become the first to conduct a study of global peatland extent and carbon stocks through the last interglacial-glacial cycle 130,000 years ago to the present. The team discovered that northern peatland expanded across high latitudes during warm periods and were buried during periods of cooling, or glacial advance.

Climate change contributed to fall of Cahokia

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:02
A new study shows climate change may have contributed to the decline of Cahokia, a famed prehistoric city near present-day St. Louis. And it involves ancient human feces.

High CO2 levels can destabilize marine layer clouds

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:30
Computer modeling shows that marine stratus clouds could disappear if atmospheric CO2 levels climb high enough, raising global temperatures.

Amazon forest: Areas with higher rainfall variability are more resilient to climate change

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 11:30
The Amazon rainforest has evolved over millions of years and even through ice ages. Yet today, human influences and global climate change put this huge ecosystem at risk of large-scale dieback -- with major consequences for its capability as a global CO2 sink. New research now reveals a key player in shaping the resilience of the Amazon, and finds that regions with generally higher rainfall variability are more resilient to current and future climate disturbances.

Surprising findings on forest fires

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:17
Several years ago, an international team of scientists raised sediments from the bottom of Lake Van in eastern Turkey reflecting the past 600,000 years. Soil scientists and paleobotanists have now evaluated the drill cores for residues of early fires -- with surprising findings. The fires did not mainly occur during particularly dry periods as assumed, but in comparatively humid and warm periods.

A volcanic binge and its frosty hangover

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:22
A major volcanic event could have triggered one of the largest glaciations in Earth's history -- the Gaskiers glaciation, which turned the Earth into a giant snowball approximately 580 million years ago. Researchers have discovered remnants of such a large igneous province that resulted from vast lava flows.

Earth may be 140 years away from reaching carbon levels not seen in 56 million years

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:22
Total human carbon dioxide emissions could match those of Earth's last major greenhouse warming event in fewer than five generations, new research finds. A new study finds humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate nine to 10 times higher than the greenhouse gas was emitted during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a global warming event that occurred roughly 56 million years ago.

New insight into river flows and sediment transport under ice cover

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:34
The ice-covered season plays an important role in the development of river channels, a new study shows. The spatial variability of sediment transport and differences in depositional and erosional locations increase in ice-covered conditions.

Complete world map of tree diversity

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:34
Researchers have succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of the diversity of tree species. Climate plays a central role for its global distribution; however, the number of species in a specific region also depends on the spatial scale of the observation, the researchers report. The new approach could help improve conservation.

Preserved leaves reveal 7000 years of rainfall and drought

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:29
A study has revealed what south-east Queensland's rainfall was like over the last 7000 years -- including several severe droughts worse and longer lasting than the 12-year Millennium Drought.

Scientists look to past to help identify fish threatened with local extinction

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 13:27
Marine scientists have developed a methodology to assess fish stocks that combines new data with archeological and historical records - some dating back to the 8th Century AD.

Undersea gases could superheat the planet

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:08
Geologic carbon and hydrate reservoirs in the ocean pose a climate threat beyond humanmade greenhouse gases.

Antarctic ice shelves buckle under weight of meltwater lakes

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 07:16
The filling and draining of meltwater lakes has been found to cause a floating Antarctic ice shelf to flex, potentially threatening its stability.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:00
In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away -- or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada.

Ice volume calculated anew

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 08:26
Researchers have provided a new estimate for the glacier ice volume all around the world, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Their conclusion: previous calculations overestimated the volume of the glaciers in High Mountain Asia.

NASA finds possible second impact crater under Greenland ice

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 17:28
A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

Arctic sea ice loss in the past linked to abrupt climate events

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:40
A new study on ice cores shows that reductions in sea ice in the Arctic in the period between 30-100,000 years ago led to major climate events. During this period, Greenland temperatures rose by as much as 16 degrees Celsius.

Sand from glacial melt could be Greenland's economic salvation

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:42
As climate change melts Greenland's glaciers and deposits more river sediment on its shores, an international group of researchers has identified one unforeseen economic opportunity for the Arctic nation: exporting excess sand and gravel abroad, where raw materials for infrastructure are in high demand.

Species 'hotspots' created by immigrant influx or evolutionary speed depending on climate

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 13:45
New research reveals that biodiversity 'hotspots' in the tropics produced new species at faster rates over the last 25 million years, but those in temperate regions are instead full of migrant species that likely sought refuge from shifting and cooling climates.

Melting ice sheets may cause 'climate chaos' according to new modelling

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:19
The weather these days is wild and will be wilder still within a century -- in part, because the water from melting ice sheets off Greenland and in the Antarctic will cause extreme weather and unpredictable temperatures around the globe. A new study is the first to simulate the effects, under current climate policies, that the two melting ice sheets will have on ocean temperatures and circulation patterns as well as on air temperatures by the year 2100.

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