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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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Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:52
Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today.

Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Scientists have reviewed decades of satellite measurements to reveal how and why Antarctica's glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice are changing. Their report explains how ice shelf thinning and collapse have triggered an increase in the continent's contribution to sea level rise.

Antarctica ramps up sea level rise

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Ice losses from Antarctica have increased global sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, with two fifths of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. The findings are from a major climate assessment known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE). It is the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change to date -- 84 scientists from 44 international organizations combined 24 satellite surveys to produce the assessment.

Climate change accelerating rise in sea levels

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
A new study has discovered that rising sea levels could be accelerated by vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic.

Ancient agricultural activity caused lasting environmental changes

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Agricultural activity by humans more than 2,000 years ago had a more significant and lasting impact on the environment than previously thought.

Ammonia distribution in Earth's upper atmosphere

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:28
A new study helps clarify how ammonia is present in Earth's upper atmosphere. Using computer modeling, the researchers found ammonia molecules trapped in liquid cloud droplets are released during convection where these particles freeze and subsequently collide in the upper atmosphere.

Researchers investigate the correlation between wind and wave height in the Arctic Ocean

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:00
An international research team has found an increase in high waves and winds in the ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean, a potentially dangerous navigational tipping point for the 'new and unusual' state of the waters.

Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:31
The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy? New research published in Icarus provides evidence for the latter.

Secret life of an enigmatic Antarctic apex predator

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 14:41
Scientists have, for the first time, tracked the lives of leopard seals as they migrate around Antarctica. The team followed these formidable predators as they move from the frozen Antarctic sea-ice to the more northerly sub-Antarctic islands where they prey on penguins, seals and krill.

New insight into Earth's crust, mantle and outer core interactions

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 09:34
A new study uses previously unavailable data to confirm a correlation between the movement of plate tectonics on the Earth's surface, the flow of mantle above the Earth's core and the rate of reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, which has long been hypothesized.

Red tide fossils point to Jurassic sea flood

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 09:34
Dinosaur-age fossilized remains of tiny organisms normally found in the sea have been discovered in inland, arid Australia -- suggesting the area was, for a short time at least, inundated by sea water 40 million years before Australia's large inland sea existed.

Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:11
Although researchers have long known that the last two interglacial periods experienced warming in the Arctic due to changes in the Earth's orbit, a mix of fly species preserved from these times in a rare lake sediment core shows that Greenland was even warmer than previously thought. This information could help researchers better gauge Greenland's sensitivity to warming, by testing and improving models of climate and ice sheet behavior.

Long thought silent because of ice, study shows east Antarctica seismically active

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:26
Half of Antarctica has long thought to be seismically dormant, but a researcher tripled the number of recorded earthquakes by monitoring for just one year.

Earliest European evidence of lead pollution uncovered in the Balkans

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 15:04
New research has revealed that metal-related pollution began in the Balkans more than 500 years before it appeared in western Europe, and persisted throughout the Dark Ages and Medieval Period, meaning the region played a far bigger role in mineral exploitation than previously believed.

Rise and fall of the Great Barrier Reef

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 11:40
Study is first of its kind to reconstruct evolution of reef over 30,000 years in response to abrupt environmental change.

Phosphorus nutrition can hasten plant and microbe growth in arid, high elevation sites

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:43
Glacial retreat in cold, high-altitude ecosystems exposes environments that are extremely sensitive to phosphorus input, new research shows. The finding upends previous ecological assumptions, helps scientists understand plant and microbe responses to climate change and could expand scientists' understanding of the limits to life on Earth.

Dusty rainfall records reveal new understanding of Earth's long-term climate

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:45
Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists' understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth's long-term climate. Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world's climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods. The new work turns Milankovitch in its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions.

For the past 70 years, the Danube has almost never frozen over

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:23
Since the 1950s, warmer and warmer winters and man-made inflows have largely prevented ice formation on Europe's second-largest river.

The gypsum gravity chute: A phytoplankton-elevator to the ocean floor

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:32
Tiny gypsum crystals can make phytoplankton so heavy that they rapidly sink, hereby transporting large quantities of carbon to the ocean's depths.

Ancient mound builders carefully timed their occupation of coastal Louisiana site

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:48
A new study of ancient mound builders who lived hundreds of years ago on the Mississippi River Delta near present-day New Orleans offers new insights into how Native peoples selected the landforms that supported their villages and earthen mounds -- and why these sites were later abandoned.