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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 43 min 22 sec ago

Southwest forest trees will grow much slower in the 21st century

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 16:15
Southwest forests may decline in productivity on average as much as 75 percent over the 21st century as climate warms. The finding is based on a treasure trove of about 20,000 unanalyzed tree cores discovered in a Utah laboratory about a decade ago.

A new model of ice friction helps scientists understand how glaciers flow

Tue, 12/18/2018 - 10:51
Despite the looming ecological consequences, glacier motion remains poorly understood. The bedrock, the ice-bed interface and the water-filled cavities all affect friction and influence how the ice will flow, but studying these poses challenges -- remote radar sensing can track glacial movement, but it can't measure detailed properties of the ice and rock.

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 09:17
Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers who have been studying glaciers in those areas for decades.

How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 10:07
When making sense of the massive amount of information packed into an ice core, scientists face a forensic challenge: how best to separate the useful information from the corrupt. Tools from information theory, a branch of complexity science, can quickly flag which segments, in over a million data points, require further investigation.

Asian glaciers slowed by ice loss, NASA finds

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 19:39
Asia's high mountain glaciers are flowing more slowly in response to widespread ice loss, affecting freshwater availability downstream in India, Pakistan and China, a new study finds.

Snow over Antarctica buffered sea level rise during last century

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 13:15
An increase in snowfall accumulation over Antarctica during the 20th century mitigated sea level rise by 0.4 inches. However, Antarctica's additional ice mass gained from snowfall makes up for just about a third of its current ice loss.

Oldest known plant virus found at ancient settlement

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:21
Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.

Warming, sea-ice loss: Arctic Report Card tracks region's environmental changes

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 11:11
NOAA's annual report card on the Arctic, released today, shows that the Arctic region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded; the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering Sea; and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea.

ICESat-2 reveals profile of ice sheets, sea ice, forests

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:30
With each pass of the ICESat-2 satellite, the mission is adding to datasets tracking Earth's rapidly changing ice.

Humans may be reversing the climate clock, by 50 million years

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:06
Our future on Earth may also be our past. Researchers show that humans are reversing a long-term cooling trend tracing back at least 50 million years. And it's taken just two centuries.

Ozone depletion increases Antarctic snowfall, partially mitigates ice sheet loss

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 09:19
Ozone layer depletion has increased snowfall over Antarctica in recent decades, partially mitigating the ongoing loss of the continent's ice sheet mass, new research finds.

How ice particles promote the formation of radicals

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 10:27
The production of chlorofluorocarbons, which damage the ozone layer, has been banned as far as possible. However, other substances can also tear holes in the ozone layer in combination with ice particles, such as those found in clouds. Researchers have discovered a possible mechanism for this.

Wintertime arctic sea ice growth slows long-term decline

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 10:47
New research has found that increases in the rate at which Arctic sea ice grows in the winter may have partially slowed down the decline of the Arctic sea ice cover.

Greenland ice sheet melt 'off the charts' compared with past four centuries

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 12:39
Surface melting across Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research.

Uneven rates of sea level rise tied to climate change

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 14:04
The pattern of uneven sea level rise over the last quarter century has been driven in part by human-caused climate change, not just natural variability, according to a new study.

Scientists reveal substantial water loss in global landlocked regions

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 14:38
A new study reveals that water storage declines in global landlocked basins has aggravated local water stress and caused potential sea level rise.

Quirky glacial behavior explained

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 14:38
In August 2012, the Jakobshavn Glacier was flowing and breaking off into the sea at record speeds, three times faster than in previous years. As the glacier flowed faster, it became thinner and more unstable and in a twist, a pileup of thick ice replenished the glacier's terminus, slowing it down again. New work explaining the fast-then-slow movement of Jakobshavn may help scientists better predict how tidewater glaciers contribute to sea level rise.

Whale songs' changing pitch may be response to population, climate changes

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 17:21
Blue whales have been dropping pitch incrementally over several decades, but the cause has remained a mystery. A new study finds a seasonal variation in the whales' pitch correlated with breaking sea ice in the southern Indian Ocean. The new research also extends the mysterious long-term falling pitch to related baleen whales and rules out noise pollution as the cause of the global long-term trend, according to the study's authors.

Cod: Loss of breeding grounds in warmer world

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 13:18
The chances of survival for the offspring of important fish species will dramatically worsen, if the 1.5 ° C target of the Paris Climate Agreement is not achieved.

Earth's polar regions communicate via oceanic 'postcards,' atmospheric 'text messages'

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 13:18
Scientists have documented a two-part climatic connection between the North Atlantic Ocean and Antarctica, a fast atmospheric channel and a much slower oceanic one, that caused rapid changes in climate during the last ice age -- and may again.