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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 5 min ago

Greenland ice sheet meltwater can flow in winter, too

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 09:03
Liquid meltwater can sometimes flow deep below the Greenland Ice Sheet in winter, not just in the summer, according to new research.

Origins of Earth's magnetic field remain a mystery

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 13:27
The existence of a magnetic field beyond 3.5 billion years ago is still up for debate.

A rapidly changing Arctic

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 09:21
A new study found that freshwater runoff from rivers and continental shelf sediments are bringing significant quantities of carbon and trace elements into parts of the Arctic Ocean via the Transpolar Drift -- a major surface current that moves water from Siberia across the North Pole to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Experiments lead to slip law for better forecasts of glacier speed, sea-level rise

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 13:45
Backed by experimental data from a laboratory machine that simulates the huge forces involved in glacier flow, glaciologists have written an equation that accounts for the motion of ice that rests on the soft, deformable ground underneath unusually fast-moving parts of ice sheets. Models using the equation -- a 'slip law' -- could better predict how quickly glaciers are sliding, how much ice they're sending to oceans and how that would affect sea-level rise.

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:08
Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Intensity of past methane release measured with new, groundbreaking methods

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 08:34
A novel approach to geochemical measurements helps scientists reconstruct the past intensity of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies show that methane emissions fluctuated, strongly, in response to known periods of abrupt climate change at the end of the last glacial cycle.

Seafloor of Fram Strait is a sink for microplastic from Arctic and North Atlantic Ocean

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 13:15
Working in the Arctic Fram Strait, scientists have found microplastic throughout the water column with particularly high concentrations at the ocean floor.

Coral tells own tale about El Niño's past

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 13:44
Scientists use data from ancient coral to build a record of temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last millennium. The data question previous links between volcanic eruptions and El Niño events.

How stable is deep ocean circulation in warmer climate?

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 13:43
If circulation of deep waters in the Atlantic stops or slows due to climate change, it could cause cooling in northern North America and Europe - a scenario that has occurred during past cold glacial periods. Now, a new study suggests that short-term disruptions of deep ocean circulation occurred during warm interglacial periods in the last 450,000 years, and may happen again.

Less ice, more methane from northern lakes: A result from global warming

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 11:41
Shorter and warmer winters lead to an increase in emissions of methane from northern lakes, according to a new study. Longer ice-free periods contribute to increased methane emissions. In Finland, emissions of methane from lakes could go up by as much as 60%.

East Antarctica's Denman Glacier has retreated almost 3 miles over last 22 years

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 11:56
East Antarctica's Denman Glacier has retreated 5 kilometers, nearly 3 miles, in the past 22 years, and researchers are concerned that the shape of the ground surface beneath the ice sheet could make it even more susceptible to climate-driven collapse.

Greenland shed ice at unprecedented rate in 2019; Antarctica continues to lose mass

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 13:36
Scientists describe Greenland's loss of 600 billion tons of ice in the summer of 2019, raising global sea levels by 2.2 millimeters in a short time.

Increasingly mobile sea ice risks polluting Arctic neighbors

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 13:36
The movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to significantly increase this century, raising the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil, according to new research.

Salmon provide nutrients to Alaskan streambanks

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 09:44
Nutrient cycling of stream ecosystems dependent on portion of salmons' lifecycle.

For narwhals, the 'unicorn of the seas,' size matters for sexual selection

Tue, 03/17/2020 - 20:56
Showy peacock feathers, extravagant elk antlers and powerful crayfish claws are just a few examples of the ostentatious animal extremes used to compete for and attract mates, a process called sexual selection. Now, we can add the 'unicorn of the seas,' the narwhal, to the list. A new study demonstrates the best evidence to date that the narwhal tusk functions as a sexual trait.

Mysterious bone circles made from the remains of mammoths reveal clues about Ice Age

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 19:46
Mysterious bone circles made from the remains of dozens of mammoths have revealed clues about how ancient communities survived Europe's ice age.

New research first to relate Antarctic sea ice melt to weather change in tropics

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 13:15
While there is a growing body of research showing how the loss of Arctic sea ice affects other parts of the planet, a new study is the first to also consider the long-range effect of Antarctic sea ice melt. It estimates that Arctic and Antarctic ice loss will account for about one-fifth of the warming that is projected to happen in the tropics.

Bargain-hunting for biodiversity

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 13:14
The best bargains for conserving some of the world's most vulnerable salamanders and other vertebrate species can be found in Central Texas and the Appalachians, according to new conservation tools.

What causes an ice age to end?

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 10:21
Research by an international team helps to resolve some of the mystery of why ice ages end by establishing when they end.

Computer model solves mystery of how gas bubbles build big methane hydrate deposits

Thu, 03/12/2020 - 13:48
New research has explained an important mystery about natural gas hydrate formations and, in doing so, advanced scientists' understanding of how gas hydrates could contribute to climate change and energy security.