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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 52 min ago

Indian monsoon can be predicted better after volcanic eruptions

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 14:45
Large volcanic eruptions can help to forecast the monsoon over India - the seasonal rainfall that is key for the country's agriculture and thus for feeding one billion people. As erratic as they are, volcanic eruptions improve the predictability, a research team now finds. What seems to be a paradox is in fact due to a stronger coupling between the monsoon over large parts of South and South-East Asia and the El Niño phenomenon after an eruption.

Emissions could add 15 inches to 2100 sea level rise

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 11:28
An international effort that brought together more than 60 ice, ocean and atmosphere scientists from three dozen international institutions has generated new estimates of how much of an impact Earth's melting ice sheets.

How much will polar ice sheets add to sea level rise?

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 11:28
Over 99% of terrestrial ice is bound up in the ice sheets covering Antarctic and Greenland. Even partial melting of this ice due to climate change will significantly contribute to sea level rise. But how much exactly? For the first time ever, glaciologists, oceanographers, and climatologists from 13 countries have teamed up to make new projections.

Sea ice triggered the Little Ice Age

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 09:53
A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing.

New estimates for the rise in sea levels due to ice sheet mass loss under climate change

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 09:53
An international consortium of researchers under the aegis of CMIP6 has calculated new estimates for the melting of Earth's ice sheets due to greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on sea levels, showing that the ice sheets could together contribute more than 40 cm by the end of 2100.

Siberia's permafrost erosion has been worsening for years

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 10:34
The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet. As a result, permafrost that is thousands of years old is now being lost to erosion. As measurements gathered on the Lena River show, the scale of erosion is alarming.

Antarctica: Cracks in the ice

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 14:11
West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier have been undergoing rapid changes, with potentially major consequences for rising sea levels. However, the processes that underlie these changes and their impact on these ice sheets have not been fully charted. One of these processes has now been described in detail: the emergence and development of damage/cracks in part of the glaciers and how this process reinforces itself.

Arctic transitioning to a new climate state

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 10:22
The fast-warming Arctic has started to transition from a predominantly frozen state into an entirely different climate with significantly less sea ice, warmer temperatures, and more rain, according to a comprehensive new study of Arctic conditions.

High-fidelity record of Earth's climate history puts current changes in context

Thu, 09/10/2020 - 14:03
Scientists have compiled a continuous, high-fidelity record of variations in Earth's climate extending 66 million years into the past. The record reveals four distinctive climate states, which the researchers dubbed Hothouse, Warmhouse, Coolhouse, and Icehouse. These major climate states persisted for millions and sometimes tens of millions of years, and within each one the climate shows rhythmic variations corresponding to changes in Earth's orbit around the sun.

Humans, not climate, have driven rapidly rising mammal extinction rate

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 09:02
Human impact can explain ninety-six percent of all mammal species extinctions of the last hundred thousand years, according to a new study.

Deep channels link ocean to Antarctic glacier

Tue, 09/08/2020 - 19:05
Newly discovered deep seabed channels beneath Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica may be the pathway for warm ocean water to melt the underside of the ice. Data from two research missions, using aircraft and ship, are helping scientists to understand the contribution this huge and remote glacier is likely to make to future global sea level rise.

Ancient hunters stayed in frozen Northern Europe rather than migrating to warmer areas, evidence from Arctic fox bones shows

Tue, 09/08/2020 - 09:16
Ancient hunters stayed in the coldest part of Northern Europe rather than migrating to escape freezing winter conditions, archaeologists have found.

New mathematical method shows how climate change led to fall of ancient civilization

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:56
A researcher developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. A new article outlines the technique he developed and shows how shifting monsoon patterns led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, a Bronze Age civilization contemporary to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

Bering Sea ice extent is at most reduced state in last 5,500 years

Wed, 09/02/2020 - 14:21
Through the analysis of vegetation from a Bering Sea island, researchers have determined that the extent of sea ice in the region is lower than it's been for thousands of years.

Viruses on glaciers highlight evolutionary mechanism to overcome host defenses

Wed, 09/02/2020 - 08:51
Scientists studying life on the surface of glaciers in the Arctic and Alps challenge assumptions on virus evolution. Their study shows that, contrary to expectations, the viruses on glaciers in the Alps, Greenland and Spitsbergen are remarkably stable in the environment.

Sea level rise from ice sheets track worst-case climate change scenario

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 10:21
Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica whose melting rates are rapidly increasing have raised the global sea level by 1.8cm since the 1990s, and are matching the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's worst-case climate warming scenarios.

How Neanderthals adjusted to climate change

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 10:53
Climate change occurring shortly before their disappearance triggered a complex change in the behavior of late Neanderthals in Europe: they developed more complex tools, suggests new research.

Mount Everest summit success rates double, death rate stays the same over last 30 years

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 13:14
A new study finds that the success rate of summiting Mount Everest has doubled in the last three decades, even though the number of climbers has greatly increased, crowding the narrow route through the dangerous 'death zone' near the summit. However, the death rate for climbers has hovered unchanged at around 1% since 1990.

How cold was the ice age? Researchers now know

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 13:14
Scientists have nailed down the temperature of the last ice age -- the Last Glacial Maximum of 20,000 years ago - to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Antarctic ice shelves vulnerable to sudden meltwater-driven fracturing, says study

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 13:14
A new study says that many of the ice shelves ringing Antarctica could be vulnerable to quick destruction if rising temperatures drive melt water into the numerous fractures that currently penetrate their surfaces. The shelves help slow interior glaciers' slide toward the ocean, so if they were to fail, sea levels around the world could surge rapidly as a result.