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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 37 min ago

No volcanic winter in East Africa from ancient Toba eruption

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 14:18
The Toba supereruption on the island of Sumatra about 74,000 years ago did not cause a six-year-long 'volcanic winter' in East Africa and thereby cause the human population in the region to plummet, according to new research based on an analysis of ancient plant remains from lake cores. The new findings disagree with the Toba catastrophe hypothesis, which says the eruption and its aftermath caused drastic, multi-year cooling and severe ecological disruption in East Africa.

Sea ice algae blooms in the dark

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 13:06
Researchers have measured a new world record: Small ice algae on the underside of the Arctic sea ice live and grow at a light level corresponding to only 0.02 percent of the light at the surface of the ice. Algae are the primary component of the Arctic food web and produce food far earlier in the year than previously thought.

Reduced energy from the sun might occur by mid-century: Now scientists know by how much

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:58
The Sun might emit less radiation by mid-century, giving planet Earth a chance to warm a bit more slowly but not halt the trend of human-induced climate change.

Sea floor uplift after last ice age causes methane release in the Arctic today

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:58
Present-day release of methane from an area of the Arctic Ocean is an effect of the uplift of the sea floor, rather than anthropogenic ocean warming, a new study states.

Massive reserves of mercury hidden in permafrost

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:42
Researchers have discovered permafrost in the northern hemisphere stores massive amounts of natural mercury, a finding with significant implications for human health and ecosystems worldwide.

North American ice sheet decay decreased climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:31
The changing topography of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age forced changes in the climate of Antarctica, a previously undocumented inter-polar climate change mechanism.

Climate variability -- past and future

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 10:31
On the basis of a unique global comparison of data from core samples extracted from the ocean floor and the polar ice sheets, researchers have now demonstrated that, though climate changes have indeed decreased around the globe from glacial to interglacial periods, the difference is by no means as pronounced as previously assumed. Until now, it was believed that glacial periods were characterized by extreme temperature variability, while interglacial periods were relatively stable.

Toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killers

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 16:32
About 12,800 years ago, thanks to fragments of a comet, humans saw an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth's land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, consumed by fires.

Arctic lakes are releasing relatively young carbon

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 08:26
When Arctic permafrost soil thaws, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, but most of the carbon currently escaping from lakes in northern Alaska is relatively young, according to a new study.

Most of last 11,000 years cooler than past decade in North America, Europe

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 13:44
Natural fluctuations in climate have occurred over past millennia, which would have naturally led to climatic cooling today in the absence of human activity.

Evolution of China's flowering plants shows East-West divide between old, new lineages

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 12:33
An international team of scientists has mapped the evolutionary relationships between China's 30,000 flowering plant species, uncovering a distinct regional pattern in biodiversity. Eastern China is a floral 'museum' with a rich array of ancient lineages and distant relatives while the western provinces are an evolutionary 'cradle' for newer and more closely related species.

UK regional weather forecasts could be improved using jet stream data

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:47
Weather forecasters could be able to better predict regional rainfall and temperatures by using North Atlantic jet stream data, according to new research. Climate scientists examined the relationship between changes in North Atlantic atmospheric circulation -- or jet stream -- and UK regional weather variations during summer and winter months over the past 65 years, and found that the jet stream changes were significantly associated with variations in regional rainfall and temperatures.

Giant earthquakes: Not as random as thought

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:12
By analyzing sediment cores from Chilean lakes, an international team of scientists discovered that giant earthquakes reoccur with relatively regular intervals. When also taking into account smaller earthquakes, the repeat interval becomes increasingly more irregular to a level where earthquakes happen randomly in time.

Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:08
Scientists analyzed ancient human genomes from 38 northern Europeans dating from approximately 7,500 to 500 BCE. The study found that Scandinavia was initially settled via a southern and a northern route and that the arrival of agriculture in northern Europe was facilitated by movements of farmers and pastoralists into the region.

Rainfall and ocean circulation linked in past and present

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:54
Research has found that changes in ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean influence rainfall in the Western Hemisphere, and that these two systems have been linked for thousands of years.

Primordial oceans had oxygen 250 million years before the atmosphere

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 09:13
New research has pushed a major milestone in the evolution of Earth's environment back by about 250 million years.

Century of data shows sea-level rise shifting tides in Delaware, Chesapeake bays

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 16:24
The warming climate is expected to affect coastal regions worldwide as glaciers and ice sheets melt, raising sea level globally. For the first time, an international team has found evidence of how sea-level rise already is affecting high and low tides in both the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, two large estuaries of the eastern United States.

Earth's core and mantle separated in a disorderly fashion

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:17
Plumes of hot rock surging upward from the Earth's mantle at volcanic hotspots contain evidence that the Earth's formative years may have been even more chaotic than previously thought, according to new work.

Record jump in 2014-2016 global temperatures largest since 1900

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 11:32
Global surface temperatures surged by a record amount from 2014 to 2016, boosting the total amount of warming since the start of the last century by more than 25 percent in just three years, according to a new University of Arizona-led paper. The research is the first to quantify the record temperature spike of an additional 0.43 degrees F (0.24 C) in just three years and to identify the fundamental reason for the jump.

Interacting Antarctic glaciers may cause faster melt and sea level contributions

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 07:55
Two of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica, which are leading contributors to sea-level rise, may behave as an interacting system rather than separate entities, according to a new analysis of radar data.