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Sea-level change in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago has implications for today

Fri, 02/10/2017 - 07:45
Sea level in Southeast Asia fluctuated wildly -- and naturally -- more than 6,000 years ago, twice rising nearly two feet in a period of about 200 years, report researchers.

New details of Greenland ice loss revealed

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 15:38
Less than a year after the first research flight kicked off NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland campaign, data from the new program are providing a dramatic increase in knowledge of how Greenland's ice sheet is melting from below.

Gas hydrate breakdown unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 15:38
A recent interpretive review of scientific literature sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.

Why the ocean has absorbed more carbon over the past decade

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 15:46
With the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide over the past decade, less of the greenhouse gas is reaching the Earth's atmosphere. That's decidedly good news, but it comes with a catch: Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean promote acidification, which breaks down the calcium carbonate shells of some marine organisms.

Hidden lakes drain below West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 12:19
Drainage of four interconnected lakes below Thwaites Glacier in late 2013 caused only a 10 percent increase in the glacier's speed. The glacier's recent speedup is therefore not due to changes in meltwater flow along its underside.

Oxygen content increased when Earth was covered in ice

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 09:43
In the beginning, planet Earth was a very inhospitable place with no oxygen and only single-celled bacteria as inhabitants. According to a new study, the oxygen content in the air began to increase about 2.4 billion years ago, at the same time as the global glaciation and when all continents were gathered in a single huge landmass, or supercontinent. How to explain the exact connection between these events, however, is a question that baffles the researchers.

Planet's atmospheric oxygen rose through glaciers

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 08:28
A 'Snowball Earth' event actually took place 100 million years earlier than previously projected, outlines a new report.

Study traces black carbon sources in the Russian Arctic

Fri, 02/03/2017 - 09:15
Transport and residential heating could be responsible for a greater contribution of black carbon in the Russian Arctic compared to gas flaring or power plants, according to new research.

Lab specializes in analyzing brittle portion of polar ice cores

Thu, 02/02/2017 - 15:32
Tiny air bubbles compressed within a polar ice core make some sections brittle to the touch, but one ice core lab knows how to handle this delicate part of the chemical analysis, thus making the dating of the entire ice core possible.

Coal mine dust lowers spectral reflectance of Arctic snow by up to 84 percent

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:05
Dust released by an active coal mine in Svalbard, Norway, reduced the spectral reflectance of nearby snow and ice by up to 84 percent, according to new research.

The making of Antarctica

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 13:56
A group of researchers suggest that the best way to understand the creation of the glaciers in Antarctica is by linking two competing theories about their origins. They argue that the deepening of the Drake Passage changed patterns of ocean circulation which in turn resulted in a drop in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to a threshold that allowed glaciation to take place.

Research journey to the center of the Earth

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:41
Researchers may be one step closer to solving the mystery at the core of the Earth. It has long been established that approximately 85 percent of the Earth's core is made of iron, while nickel makes up an additional 10 percent. Details of the final 5 percent - believed to be some amount of light elements - has, until now, eluded scientists.

Researchers confirm the existence of a 'lost continent' under Mauritius

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 11:41
Scientists have confirmed the existence of a 'lost continent' under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

Climate change drove population decline in New World before Europeans arrived

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 09:44
Scientists report on dramatic environmental changes that occurred as Native Americans flourished and then vanished from the Midwestern United States before Europeans arrived. The researchers theorize that catastrophic climate change they observed, which doomed food production, was a primary cause of the disappearance.

Scientists unravel the process of meltwater in ocean depths

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 10:09
An international team of researchers has discovered why fresh water, melted from Antarctic ice sheets, is often detected below the surface of the ocean, rather than rising to the top above denser seawater.

Fossilized tree and ice cores help date huge volcanic eruption 1,000 years ago to within three months

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 10:16
An international team of researchers has managed to pinpoint, to within three months, a medieval volcanic eruption in east Asia the precise date of which has puzzled historians for decades. They have also shown that the so-called "Millennium eruption" of Changbaishan volcano, one of the largest in history, cannot have brought about the downfall of an important 10th century kingdom, as was previously thought.

Climate models may underestimate future warming on tropical mountains

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 13:57
By reconstructing past temperature change on Mount Kenya in East Africa, a new study suggests that future temperature changes on tropical mountains might be underestimated.

Ancient Indus civilization's adaptation to climate change

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 10:29
A new article explores how an ancient culture dealt with variable environments.

Climate change helped kill off super-sized Ice Age animals in Australia

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 15:30
During the last Ice Age, Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea formed a single landmass, called Sahul. It was a strange and often hostile place populated by a bizarre cast of giant animals.

Earth's orbital variations, sea ice synch glacial periods

Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:08
New research shows how sea ice growth in the Southern Hemisphere during certain orbital periods could control the pace of ice ages on Earth.