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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 31 min ago

What Earth's gravity reveals about climate change

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:21
On March 17, 2002, the satellite duo GRACE was launched to map the Earth's gravity field more precisely than ever before. The measurements make it possible to monitor the terrestrial water cycle, the mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers or changes in sea levels. This helps to better understand important trends in the global climate system.

North Atlantic warming hole impacts jet stream

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:39
The North Atlantic warming hole (NAWH), a region of reduced warming located in the North Atlantic Ocean, significantly affects the North Atlantic jet stream in climate simulations of the future.

Warming Arctic permafrost releasing large amounts of potent greenhouse gas

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:08
A recent study shows that nitrous oxide emissions from thawing Alaskan permafrost are about twelve times higher than previously assumed. About one fourth of the Northern Hemisphere is covered in permafrost, which is thawing at an increasing rate. As temperatures increase, the peat releases more and more greenhouse gases. And, even though researchers are monitoring carbon dioxide and methane, no one seems to be watching the most potent greenhouse gas: nitrous oxide.

We now know how insects and bacteria control ice

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:06
Scientists show how key proteins produced in bacteria and insects can either promote or inhibit the formation of ice, based on their length and their ability to team up to form large ice-binding surfaces. The results have wide application, particularly in understanding precipitation in clouds.

New research adds to work of Prandtl, father of modern aerodynamics

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 12:15
Researchers used both linear stability theory and direct numerical simulations to uncover, for the first time, fluid instabilities in the Prandtl model for katabatic slope flows. Not only will this discovery be important for agriculture, aviation and weather prediction, but it will also be vital for climate change research and associated sea-level rise, as accurate prediction of katabatic surface wind profiles over large ice sheets and glaciers is critical in energy balance of melting ice.

Ice Ages occur when tropical islands and continents collide

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:52
Earth's steady state is warm and balmy, but half a dozen times over the past billion years, the planet developed ice caps and glaciers. Researchers have now amassed evidence that these cold snaps occurred when tectonic activity propelled continents headlong into volcanic island arcs in the tropics, uplifting ophiolites that rapidly absorbed carbon dioxide, cooling Earth. Once collisions stopped, CO2 again built up from volcanic eruptions and a runaway greenhouse effect warmed the planet.

Warm winds in autumn could strain Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:18
New research shows that the Larsen C ice shelf -- the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica -- experienced an unusual spike in late summer and early autumn surface melting in the years 2015 to 2017. The study, spanning 35 years from 1982 to 2017, quantifies how much of this additional melting is due to warm, dry air currents called foehn winds that originate high in the peninsula's central mountain range.

Driving a wedge into historic gaps of climate science

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:17
Evidence of historic marine life present in Alaskan permafrost is helping scientists reconstruct ancient changes in the ice cover over the Arctic Ocean.

Yukon warmest it has been in 13,600 years

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 11:06
A study uses new research techniques to reveal alarming information about climate change in Canada's north. A study confirms that recent climate warming in the central Yukon region has surpassed the warmest temperatures experienced in the previous 13,600 years, a finding that could have important implications in the context of current global warming trends.

The oldest ice on Earth may be able to solve the puzzle of the planet's climate history

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:00
Scientists want to drill a 1.5 million year old ice core in Antarctica. An analysis of the climate data stored in the ice should contribute to a better understanding of the alternation between warm and cold periods.

Biodiversity: Climate key to abundance of life

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:00
Natural history museum paleontologists have succeeded in mapping historical biodiversity in unprecedented detail. For the first time, it is now possible to compare the impact of climate on global biodiversity in the distant past -- a result that paints a gloomy picture for the preservation of present-day species richness.

More than 90% of glacier volume in the Alps could be lost by 2100

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 07:32
New research on how glaciers in the European Alps will fare under a warming climate has come up with concerning results. Under a limited warming scenario, glaciers would lose about two-thirds of their present-day ice volume, while under strong warming, the Alps would be mostly ice free by 2100.

Carbon lurking in deep ocean threw ancient climate switch, say researchers

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:40
A million years ago, a longtime pattern of alternating glaciations and warm periods dramatically changed, when ice ages suddenly became longer and more intense. Scientists have long suspected that this was connected to the slowdown of a key Atlantic Ocean current system that today once again is slowing. A new study of sediments from the Atlantic bottom directly links this slowdown with a massive buildup of carbon dragged from the air into the abyss.

Melting glaciers causing sea levels to rise at ever greater rates

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:40
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic as well as ice melt from glaciers all over the world are causing sea levels to rise. Glaciers alone lost more than 9,000 billion tons of ice since 1961, raising water levels by 27 millimeters, an international research team has now found.

Air temperatures in the Arctic are driving system change

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 07:02
A new paper shows that air temperature is the 'smoking gun' behind climate change in the Arctic.

Large Antarctic Ice Shelf, home to a UK research station, is about to break apart

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:43
Glaciology experts have issued evidence that a large section of the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, which is home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station, is about break off. The iceberg, measuring over 1,500 square kilometers -- which is twice the size of New York City -- is expected to break away from the Brunt Ice Shelf within the next few months.

Researchers uncover hidden deicer risks affecting bridge health

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 15:09
Common magnesium chloride deicers used on roadways and bridges around the U.S. may be doing more damage than previously thought, researchers have found.

More CO2 than ever before in 3 million years, shows unprecedented computer simulation

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 14:54
CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely higher today than ever before in the past 3 million years. During this time, global mean temperatures never exceeded the preindustrial levels by more than 2°C. The study is based on breakthrough computer simulations of ice age onset in Earth's past climate.

Beware a glacier's tongue

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:30
Glaciers extending into freshwater lakes can form long, submerged terraces that menacingly rise above the surface when icy chunks fall into the water.

The Transpolar Drift is faltering: Sea ice is now melting before it can leave the nursery

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 07:15
The dramatic loss of ice in the Arctic is influencing sea-ice transport across the Arctic Ocean. Today only 20 percent of the sea ice that forms in the shallow Russian marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean actually reaches the Central Arctic, where it joins the Transpolar Drift; the remaining 80 percent of the young ice melts before it has a chance to leave its 'nursery.'