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Polar bear blogs reveal dangerous gap between climate-change facts and opinions

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 12:14
Climate-change discussions on social media are very influential. A new study shows that when it comes to iconic topics such as polar bears and retreating sea ice, climate blogs fall into two distinct camps. With little or no overlap between deniers and the available scientific facts.

How Himalayan rivers influenced ancient Indus civilization settlements

Tue, 11/28/2017 - 10:22
Much of the Indus civilization developed around an extinct river, challenging ideas about how urbanization in ancient cultures developed, scientists have discovered.

Decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide key to ancient climate transition

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 14:21
A decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels led to a fundamental shift in the behavior of the Earth's climate system around one million years ago, according to new research led by the University of Southampton.

Climate change could increase volcano eruptions

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:54
Shrinking glacier cover could lead to increased volcanic activity in Iceland, warn scientists in a new report.

Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:43
Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe's climate has changed over the past 3,000 years.

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:13
For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light. The experiment was achieved with the IceCube detector, an array of 5,160 basketball-sized sensors frozen deep within a cubic kilometer of very clear ice near the South Pole.

Ancient barley took high road to China

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:52
First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research.

Climate changes triggered immigration to America in the 19th century, study finds

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:52
From Trump to Heinz, some of America's most famous family names and brands trace their origins back to Germans who emigrated to the country in the 19th century. Researchers have now found that climate was a major factor in driving migration from Southwest Germany to North America during the 19th century.

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 11:09
New maps of a mountainous landscape under a key glacier in West Antarctica will be a valuable aid in forecasting sea level changes.

Hydrological implications of rapid global warming

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 10:13
Researchers studying a rapid global warming event, around 56 million years ago, have shown evidence of major changes in the intensity of rainfall and flood events. The findings indicate some of the likely implications should current trends of rising carbon dioxide and global warming continue.

A popular tool to trace Earth's oxygen history can give false positives

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 07:52
If someone cries 'Eureka!' because it looks like oxygen appeared in Earth's ancient atmosphere long before the body of evidence indicated, be careful. If it was a chromium isotope system reading that caused the enthusiasm, it might need to be curbed.

Structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:38
The glaciers that carved Yosemite Valley left highly polished surfaces on many of the region's rock formations. These smooth, shiny surfaces, known as glacial polish, are common in the Sierra Nevada and other glaciated landscapes. Geologists have now taken a close look at the structure and chemistry of glacial polish and found that it consists of a thin coating smeared onto the rock as the glacier moved over it.

Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 15:28
Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants -- then and now.

When continents break it gets warm on Earth

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:37
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state. Before humans began to have an impact on the amount of CO2 in the air, it depended solely on the interplay of geological and biological processes, the global carbon cycle. This study shows that the break-up of continents - also known as rifting -- contributed significantly to higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

How a 'shadow zone' traps the world's oldest ocean water

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:39
New research has revealed why the oldest water in the ocean in the North Pacific has remained trapped in a shadow zone around 2km below the sea surface for over 1000 years.

Ice sheets as large as Greenland's melted fast in a warming climate

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 21:40
New research shows that climate warming reduced the mass of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet by half in as little as 500 years, indicating the Greenland Ice Sheet could have a similar fate.

How ice in clouds is born: More disordered

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:18
When water droplets freeze in clouds, the structure of the ice crystal isn't necessarily the classic hexagonal snowflake structure. Rather, a more disordered ice structure forms more easily than hexagonal ice under certain cloud conditions, allowing the water droplets in clouds to turn to ice more rapidly than previously predicted. The work reconciles theoretical models of clouds with observations of freezing rates.

Cooling in high and mid-latitudes led to aridification in Northern Africa

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:24
Analyses of ancient plant leaf wax found in the sediments of the Gulf of Guinea told the researchers about rainfall in Cameroon and the central Sahel-Sahara over the past several millennia and showed a rapid aridification around 5500 years before now.

Hot news from the Antarctic underground

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 12:17
A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. Although the heat source isn't a new or increasing threat to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed rapidly in an earlier era of rapid climate change, and why it is so unstable today.

Federal climate science report for U.S. released

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:37
The newly released Climate Science Special Report describes current trends in the climate globally and for the U.S., and projects trends in temperature, precipitation, sea-level rise and Arctic sea ice for the remainder of this century.

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