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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 58 min 7 sec ago

Melting sea ice may lead to more life in the sea

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 10:52
Every year an increasing amount of sea ice is melting in the Arctic. This can start a chain reaction, which leads to increased production of algae and hence more food for creatures in the sea.

Solving the mystery of the Arctic's green ice

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 14:02
In 2011, researchers observed something that should be impossible — a massive bloom of phytoplankton growing under Arctic sea ice in conditions that should have been far too dark for anything requiring photosynthesis to survive. So, how was this bloom possible? Using mathematical modeling, researchers found that thinning Arctic sea ice may be responsible for these blooms and more blooms in the future, potentially causing significant disruption in the Arctic food chain.

Northern oceans used to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 07:32
Norwegian Sea acted as carbon dioxide source in the past. It pumped the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere instead of absorbing it, as it does today, report scientists.

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 13:31
The Arctic sea ice maximum extent and Antarctic minimum extent are both record lows this year. Combined, sea ice numbers are at their lowest point since satellites began to continuously measure sea ice in 1979.

Under the dead sea, warnings of dire drought

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 13:31
Nearly 1,000 feet below the bed of the Dead Sea, scientists have found evidence that during past warm periods, the Mideast has suffered drought on scales never recorded by humans -- a possible warning for current times. Thick layers of crystalline salt show that rainfall plummeted to as little as a fifth of modern levels some 120,000 years ago, and again about 10,000 years ago.

Last remnant of North American ice sheet on track to vanish

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 13:38
The last piece of the ice sheet that once blanketed much of North America is doomed to disappear in the next several centuries, says a new study.

Extensive ice cap once covered sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 07:24
The sub-antarctic island of South Georgia -- famous for its wildlife -- was covered by a massive ice cap during the last ice age, new research indicates.

Is spring getting longer? Lengthening 'vernal window'

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 11:56
When spring arrives, temperatures begin to rise, ice is melts, and the world around us starts to blossom. Scientists sometimes refer to this transition from winter to the growing season as the 'vernal window,' and a new study shows this window may be opening earlier and possibly for longer.

Protecting ice memory

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 09:00
Collecting ice cores from high-mountain glaciers most at risk from climate change and storing them in Antarctica for future generations of scientists: that is the goal of ICE MEMORY, an international program aimed at preserving the memory of high-mountain glaciers.

How to conserve polar bears -- and maintain subsistence harvest -- under climate change

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 17:23
A properly-managed subsistence harvest of polar bears can continue under climate change, according to analysis that combines sea-ice forecasts with a polar bear population model.

China's severe winter haze tied to effects of global climate change

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 13:06
China's severe winter air pollution problems may be worsened by changes in atmospheric circulation prompted by Arctic sea ice loss and increased Eurasian snowfall -- both caused by global climate change.

When the sea ice melts, juvenile polar cod may go hungry

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 08:45
Polar cod fulfil a key role in the Arctic food web, as they are a major source of food for seals, whales and seabirds alike. But the polar cod themselves might soon be the hungry ones.

Cold climates and ocean carbon sequestration

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 14:09
Efficient nutrient consumption by plankton in the Southern Ocean drove carbon sequestration in the deep ocean during the ice ages, a new study suggests.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 08:30
During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a team of researchers. The study suggests the mechanism may have involved the biosphere, as plants and plankton struggled to grow under very low carbon dioxide levels.

Looking for 'fingerprints' at the intersection of weather and climate

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 15:08
Scientists have found the seasonal 'fingerprints' of Arctic sea ice, El Nino, and other climate phenomena in a new study that probes the global interactions between weather and climate.

Rapid decline of Arctic sea ice a combination of climate change and natural variability

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 15:08
The dramatic decline of Arctic sea ice in recent decades is caused by a mixture of global warming and a natural, decades-long atmospheric hot spot over Greenland and the Canadian Arctic.

A perfect storm of fire and ice may have led to snowball Earth

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 15:08
What caused the largest glaciation event in Earth's history, known as 'snowball Earth'? Geologists and climate scientists have been searching for the answer for years but the root cause of the phenomenon remains elusive. Now, researchers have a new hypothesis about what caused the runaway glaciation that covered the Earth pole-to-pole in ice.

NASA's aerial survey of polar ice expands its Arctic reach

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:17
For the past eight years, Operation IceBridge, a NASA mission that conducts aerial surveys of polar ice, has produced unprecedented three-dimensional views of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, providing scientists with valuable data on how polar ice is changing in a warming world. Now, for the first time, the campaign will expand its reach to explore the Arctic's Eurasian Basin through two research flights based out of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 11:06
No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts -- mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger -- living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the US has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.

Paleolake deposits on Mars might look like sediments in Indonesia

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 10:42
A new article details the clay mineralogy of sediment from Lake Towuti, Indonesia, using a technique called visible to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy. VNIR measures the signature of reflected light from a sample across a larger wavelength range than just visible light. At Lake Towuti, the spectral record shows distinct variations in clay mineralogy over the past 40,000 years.