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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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High-altitude climate change to kill cloud forest plants

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 10:07
Scientists have discovered many tropical, mountaintop plants won't survive global warming, even under the best-case climate scenario. Many of the species they studied will likely not be able to survive in their current locations past 2080 as their high-altitude climate changes, they say.

Glaciers melting faster than ever

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 07:34
The World Glacier Monitoring Service has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together with its National Correspondents in more than 30 countries, the international service just published a new comprehensive analysis of global glacier changes. In this study, observations of the first decade of the 21st century (2001-2010) were compared to all available earlier data from in-situ, air-borne, and satellite-borne observations as well as to reconstructions from pictorial and written sources.

Earth's magnetic shield is much older than previously thought

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 15:20
Since 2010, the best estimate of the age of Earth's magnetic field has been 3.45 billion years. But now a researcher responsible for that finding has new data showing the magnetic field is far older.

Playing 'tag' with pollution lets scientists see who's 'it'

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 14:52
Using a climate model that can tag sources of soot and track where it lands, researchers have determined which areas around the Tibetan Plateau contribute the most soot -- and where. The model can also suggest the most effective way to reduce soot on the plateau, easing the amount of warming the region undergoes. The study might help policy makers target pollution reduction efforts.

Past and present sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay Region, USA

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 15:24
Scientists write that sea-level rise (3.4 mm/yr) is faster in the Chesapeake Bay region than any other location on the Atlantic coast of North America, and twice the global average (1.7 mm/yr). They have found that dated interglacial deposits suggest that relative sea levels in the Chesapeake Bay region deviate from global trends over a range of timescales.

First measurements taken of South Africa's Iron Age magnetic field history

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:59
A team of researchers has for the first time recovered a magnetic field record from ancient minerals for Iron Age southern Africa (between 1000 and 1500 AD). The data, combined with the current weakening of Earth's magnetic field, suggest that the region of Earth's core beneath southern Africa may play a special role in reversals of the planet's magnetic poles.

Washington, DC sinking fast, adding to threat of sea-level rise

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:12
New research confirms that the land under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking rapidly and projects that Washington, DC, could drop by six or more inches in the next century -- adding to the problems of sea-level rise.

Cataclysmic event of a certain age

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 17:02
At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago­ — give or take a few centuries — a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas. New research has narrowed the date to a 100-year range, sometime between 12,835 and 12,735 years ago.

Abrupt climate change may have rocked the cradle of civilization

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 17:13
New research reveals that some of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent may have been affected by abrupt climate change. These findings show that while socio-economic factors were traditionally considered to shape ancient human societies in this region, the influence of abrupt climate change should not be underestimated.

Cool summer of 2013 boosted Arctic sea ice

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 10:49
The volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third after the summer of 2013 as the unusually cool air temperatures prevented the ice from melting, according to scientists. This suggests that the ice pack in the Northern hemisphere is more sensitive to changes in summer melting than it is to winter cooling, a finding which will help researchers to predict future changes in its volume.

International report confirms: 2014 was Earth’s warmest year on record

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 13:14
In 2014, the most essential indicators of Earth's changing climate continued to reflect trends of a warming planet, with several markers such as rising land and ocean temperature, sea levels and greenhouse gases -- setting new records. These key findings and others can be found in the State of the Climate in 2014 report released online by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Polar bears threatened: Experience limited energy savings in summer

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 15:03
Some earlier research suggested that polar bears could, at least partially, compensate for longer summer food deprivation by entering a state of lowered activity and reduced metabolic rate similar to winter hibernation -- a so-called 'walking hibernation.' But new research shows that the summer activity and body temperature of bears on shore and on ice were typical of fasting, non-hibernating mammals, with little indication of 'walking hibernation.'

Sun's activity controls Greenland temperatures

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 11:44
The sun's activity could be affecting a key ocean circulation mechanism that plays an important role in regulating Greenland's climate, according to a new study. The phenomenon could be partially responsible for cool temperatures the island experienced in the late 20th century and potentially lead to increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the coming decades, the new research suggests.

Fossils indicate human activities have disturbed ecosystem resilience

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 15:14
A collection of fossilized owl pellets in Utah suggests that when the Earth went through a period of rapid warming about 13,000 years ago, the small mammal community was stable, even as individual species changed along with the habitat and landscape. By contrast, human-caused changes to the environment since the late 1800s have caused an enormous drop in biomass and 'energy flow' in this same community. The resilience that these lands once had to environmental change is being lost.

Rainfall drives rapid melt, flow of the Greenland ice sheet

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:34
The Greenland ice sheet has been shown to accelerate in response to surface rainfall and melt associated with late-summer and autumnal cyclonic weather events, new research shows.

Surprisingly high geothermal heating beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Fri, 07/10/2015 - 15:09
The amount of heat flowing toward the base of the West Antarctic ice sheet from geothermal sources deep within the Earth is surprisingly high, according to a new study. The results provide important data for researchers trying to predict the fate of the ice sheet, which has experienced rapid melting over the past decade.

Global sea levels have risen six meters or more with just slight global warming

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 13:51
A new review analyzing three decades of research on the historic effects of melting polar ice sheets found that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years. What is most concerning is that amount of melting was caused by an increase of only 1-2 degrees (Celsius) in global mean temperatures.

Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s, to 'mini ice age' levels: Sun driven by double dynamo

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 08:29
A new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the 'mini ice age' that began in 1645. 

Volcanic eruptions that changed human history

Wed, 07/08/2015 - 12:38
It is well known that large volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability. A new study uses new evidence found in both ice cores and corresponding tree rings to show the timing and associated radiative forcing of nearly 300 individual volcanic eruptions extending as far back as the early Roman period.

Risk of interbreeding due to climate change lower than expected

Mon, 07/06/2015 - 10:41
A surprising study of North and South American mammals, birds and amphibians finds that only about 6 percent of closely related species whose ranges do not currently overlap are likely to come into contact by the end of this century.

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