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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
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Breakthrough for mining research in the Bronze Age

Mon, 11/09/2015 - 08:20
Mining in the Alps dates back much further than previously thought – in the Austrian region of Montafon since the Bronze Age. Thanks to C14 dating, a group of researchers was able to detect in the course of prospecting in the Bartholomäberg region at a height of 1450 metres ancient traces of mining from the middle Bronze Age. The C14 method, also known as the radiocarbon method, makes a relatively precise age classification possible, for example of charcoal, on the basis of decreasing radioactivity in carbonaceous material.

Human-caused climate change increased the severity of many extreme events in 2014

Sat, 11/07/2015 - 19:25
Human activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use, influenced specific extreme weather and climate events in 2014, including tropical cyclones in the central Pacific, heavy rainfall in Europe, drought in East Africa, and stifling heat waves in Australia, Asia, and South America, according to a new report.

New drought atlas maps 2,000 years of climate in Europe

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 13:45
The long history of severe droughts across Europe and the Mediterranean has largely been told through historical documents and ancient journals, each chronicling the impact in a geographically restricted area. Now, for the first time, an atlas based on scientific evidence provides the big picture, using tree rings to map the reach and severity of dry and wet periods across Europe, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East, year to year over the past 2,000 years.

Climate change is moving mountains

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 11:15
Research points to strong interaction between climate shifts and increased internal movement in the North American St. Elias Mountain Range. The researchers note that the glaciers today are wet-based and are moving, very aggressively eroding material around and out, and in the case of her observation, into the Gulf of Alaska. The tectonic forces (internal plates moving toward one another) continue to move toward Alaska, get pushed underneath and the sediment on top is piling up above the Yakutat plate.

Human intervention can help endangered Saimaa ringed seal adapt to climate change

Thu, 11/05/2015 - 08:20
Humans can help the critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal to cope with climate change. Human-made snow drifts developed in a recent study improved the breeding success of seals during winters with poor snow conditions. Lake Saimaa in Finland is home to the critically endangered subspecies of the ringed seal, the Saimaa ringed seal (Phoca hispida saimensis). The Saimaa ringed seal is heavily ice-associated and its breeding success depends on sufficient ice and snow cover. The loss of snow and ice caused by the ongoing climate change poses a direct threat to the subspecies, and climate change induced changes to the environment may have indirect effects, too.

West Antarctic coastal snow accumulation rose 30 percent during 20th century

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:46
Annual snow accumulation on West Antarctica's coastal ice sheet increased dramatically during the 20th century, according to a new study. The research gives scientists new insight into Antarctica's blanket of ice. Understanding how the ice sheet grows and shrinks over time enhances scientists' understanding of the processes that impact global sea levels.

The Greenland ice sheet contains nutrients from precipitation

Wed, 11/04/2015 - 11:46
The ice sheet on Greenland contains the nutrient phosphorus, which was carried by the atmosphere and fell with precipitation, new research shows. This new knowledge is important for understanding how many nutrients can be expected to flow into the Arctic Ocean when the climate warms and the ice melts and flows into the sea, where nutrients give rise to increased algae growth.

Ice-age lesson: Large mammals need room to roam

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 17:42
A study of life and extinctions among woolly mammoths and other ice-age animals suggests that interconnected habitats can help Arctic mammal species survive environmental changes.

Local destabilization can cause complete loss of West Antarctica's ice masses

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 15:36
A full discharge of ice into the ocean is calculated to yield about 3 meters of sea-level rise. Recent studies indicated that this area of the ice continent is already losing stability, making it the first element in the climate system about to tip. The new publication for the first time shows the inevitable consequence of such an event. According to the computer simulations, a few decades of ocean warming can start an ice loss that continues for centuries or even millennia.

Less ice, more water in Arctic Ocean by 2050s

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 14:25
By the 2050s, parts of the Arctic Ocean once covered by sea ice much of the year will see at least 60 days a year of open water, according to a new modeling study.

Arctic snow not darkening due to soot, dust

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:05
A new study shows that degrading satellite sensors, not soot or dust, are responsible for the apparent decline in reflectivity of inland ice across northern Greenland.

Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:05
A new study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

Large igneous provinces linked to extinction events

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 11:45
Mass extinction events are sometimes portrayed in illustrations of volcanic eruptions causing widespread destruction. According to experts this interpretation may have some truth behind it, but not in the instantaneous way we might think.

Solving 80-year-old mystery, chemist discovers way to isolate single-crystal ice surfaces

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 11:44
A chemist has discovered a way to select specific surfaces of single-crystal ice for study, a long-sought breakthrough that could help researchers answer essential questions about climate and the environment.

Land-facing, southwest Greenland Ice Sheet movement decreasing

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 09:23
In the face of decades of increasing temperatures and surface melting, the movement of the southwest portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet that terminates on land has been slowing down, according to a new study.

Nordic Seas cooled 500,000 years before global oceans

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 07:49
The cooling of the Nordic Seas towards modern temperatures started in the early Pliocene, half a million years before the global oceans cooled. A new study of fossil marine plankton demonstrates this.

Climate change threatens survival of common lizards

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:21
While there is no doubt that climate change is affecting many organisms, some species might be more sensitive than others. Reptiles, whose body temperature depends directly on environmental temperature, may be particularly vulnerable. Scientists have now shown experimentally that lizards cope very poorly with the climate predicted for the year 2100.

Ancient babies boost Bering land bridge layover

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:17
Scientists deciphered maternal genetic material from two babies buried together in Alaska 11,500 years ago. They found the infants had different mothers and were the northernmost known kin to two lineages of Native Americans found farther south throughout North and South America. The study supports the theory that Native Americans descended from people who migrated from Asia to Bering land bridge, then spent up to 10,000 years there before moving into the Americas beginning at least 15,000 years ago.

Ancient permafrost quickly transforms to carbon dioxide upon thaw

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:14
Researchers have quantified how rapidly ancient permafrost decomposes upon thawing and how much carbon dioxide is produced in the process.

Traces of enormous solar storms in the ice of Greenland and Antarctica

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 10:21
Solar storms and the particles they release result in spectacular phenomena such as auroras, but they can also pose a serious risk to our society. In extreme cases they have caused major power outages, and they could also lead to breakdowns of satellites and communication systems. According to a new study solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1000 years ago.

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