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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 8 min 17 sec ago

Glacier mass loss: Past the point of no return

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 11:42
Researchers show in a recent study that the further melting of glaciers cannot be prevented in the current century -- even if all emissions were stopped now. However, due to the slow reaction of glaciers to climate change, our behavior has a massive impact beyond the 21st century: In the long run, five hundred meters by car with a mid-range vehicle will cost one kilogram of glacier ice.

Arctic sea ice becoming a spring hazard for North Atlantic ships

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 10:57
More Arctic sea ice is entering the North Atlantic Ocean than before, making it increasingly dangerous for ships to navigate those waters in late spring, according to new research.

Preventing hurricanes using air bubbles

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:10
Many people have tried to find ways of preventing hurricanes before they make landfall, resulting in the loss of human lives. Researchers believe that the answer lies in cold bubbles.

Volcanic eruption influenced Iceland's conversion to Christianity

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:07
Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests.

Soot transported from elsewhere in world contributes little to melting of some Antarctic glaciers

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 18:25
Airborne soot produced by wildfires and fossil-fuel combustion and transported to the remote McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contains levels of black carbon too low to contribute significantly to the melting of local glaciers, according to a new study.

Wandering greenhouse gas

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 11:11
On the seafloor of the shallow coastal regions north of Siberia, microorganisms produce methane when they break down plant remains. If this greenhouse gas finds its way into the water, it can also become trapped in the sea ice that forms in these coastal waters.

New understanding of Kenyan paleoenvironments opens window on human evolution in the area

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:04
Interest in human evolution has stimulated new geological work in the southern rift valley of Kenya. A new article presents the results of more than 15 years of field research on complex strata representing the last 500,000 years of geological history in an active rift system.

Half a degree more global warming could flood out 5 million more people

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 10:06
A new study finds that by 2150, the seemingly small difference between a global temperature increase of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius would mean the permanent inundation of lands currently home to about 5 million people, including 60,000 who live on small island nations.

Greenland glaciers' varied vulnerability to melting

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 13:49
Using data from NASA missions observing Earth, researchers have created new maps of the bed topography beneath a score of glaciers in southeast Greenland, thereby gaining a much better understanding of why some are undergoing rapid retreat and others are relatively stable.

Eastern Mediterranean summer will be two months longer by end of 21st century

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 09:19
The eastern Mediterranean is experiencing monumental climate changes poised to significantly affect regional ecosystems and human health. According to a new study, these changes will drastically alter the duration of summer and winter in the region by the end of this century.

Exceptionally large amount of winter snow in Northern Hemisphere this year

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:27
The new Arctic Now product shows with one picture the extent of the area in the Northern Hemisphere currently covered by ice and snow. This kind of information, which shows the accurate state of the Arctic, becomes increasingly important due to climate change.

Chain reaction of fast-draining lakes poses new risk for Greenland ice sheet

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 08:23
A growing network of lakes on the Greenland ice sheet has been found to drain in a chain reaction that speeds up the flow of the ice sheet, threatening its stability.

Unique diamond impurities indicate water deep in Earth's mantle

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 16:07
Scientists have discovered the first direct evidence that fluid water pockets may exist as far as 500 miles deep into the Earth's mantle.

Global fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in 2300, UCI study finds

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 13:31
Scientists expect the world's fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in the year 2300, with those in the North Atlantic down nearly 60 percent and those in much of the western Pacific experiencing declines of more than 50 percent.

Desertification and monsoon climate change linked to shifts in ice volume and sea level

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 09:08
The East Asian summer monsoon and desertification in Eurasia is driven by fluctuating Northern Hemisphere ice volume and global sea level during the Ice Age, as shown in a new study. Today, two thirds of the world’s population is dependent on agriculture sustained by rains of the East Asian summer monsoon, and future climate change in this region can therefore have a major impact on global food production.

Glaciers in Mongolia's Gobi Desert actually shrank during the last ice age

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 07:54
High in Mongolia's Gobi Desert, the climate is so dry and cold that glaciers shrank during the last ice age. Dating of rock deposits shows how glaciers in this less-studied region behave very differently as the climate shifts.

Snowpack levels show dramatic decline in western states, U.S.

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:48
A new study of long-term snow monitoring sites in the western United States found declines in snowpack at more than 90 percent of those sites -- and one-third of the declines were deemed significant.

Thawing permafrost causing the 'browning' of northern lakes

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 11:46
As ice the melts, the organic carbon found in permafrost is being released once again after ages of confinement in the soil. It is making its way into Arctic and subarctic lakes and ponds, and modifying their composition.

Previously unknown 'supercolony' of Adélie penguins discovered in Antarctica

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:09
In a paper released on March 2nd in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists announced the discovery of a previously unknown 'supercolony' of more than 1,500,000 Adélie Penguins in the Danger Islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off of the Antarctic Peninsula's northern tip.

Fossilised plant leaf wax provides new tool for understanding ancient climates

Fri, 03/02/2018 - 08:09
New research has outlined a new methodology for estimating ancient atmospheric water content based on fossil plant leaf waxes.