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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 58 min 12 sec ago

In Arctic winter, marine creatures migrate by the light of the moon

Thu, 01/07/2016 - 13:04
A few months ago, researchers reported the surprising discovery that marine creatures living in one Arctic fjord keep busy through the permanently dark and frigid winter months. Now, a report extends this activity to the whole of the Arctic. They also find that, in the absence of any sunlight, it's the moon that drives the vertical migrations of tiny marine animals.

Deep-water ocean circulation, marine biodiversity and climate change

Wed, 01/06/2016 - 09:10
A direct link has been shown between the greatest increase in Phanerozoic marine biodiversity and the onset of a sudden icehouse. The onset of sudden icehouse conditions during the Mid Ordovician was an abrupt change in climate. Prior to this, Earth was exposed to a prolonged super-greenhouse with sea surface temperatures estimated above 40 degree Celsius, thus, seriously affecting the ability of life to evolve and diversify. The researchers now speculate that the sudden emergence of icehouse conditions brought about fundamental changes in ocean circulation, instigating thermohaline circulation in the oceans.

Melting of massive ice 'lid' resulted in huge release of carbon dioxide at the end of the ice age

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 15:32
A new study of how the structure of the ocean has changed since the end of the last ice age suggest that the melting of a vast 'lid' of sea ice caused the release of huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Climate change is altering Greenland ice sheet, accelerating sea level rise

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 12:04
The Greenland ice sheet has traditionally been pictured as a sponge for glacier meltwater, but new research has found it's rapidly losing the ability to buffer its contribution to rising sea levels, say researchers. They have also found that climate change has caused meltwater from lower elevations to run directly into the sea.

Large, increasing methane emissions from northern lakes

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 12:04
Climate-sensitive regions in the north are home to most of the world's lakes. New research shows that these northern freshwaters are critical emitters of methane, a more effective greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

An ice core study to determine the timing and duration of historical climate stages

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 13:16
In ice core studies, accurate and precise dating is important to better constrain the timing, sequence, and duration of past climatic events. Two deep ice cores were drilled at different remote dome summits in Antarctica, Dome Fuji and Dome C, and were volcanically synchronized. A total of 1401 volcanic matching points were identified within the past 216 kyr. This work contributes to the establishment of a common time scale for all Antarctic ice cores.

Geologic formation could hold clues to melting glacier floodwaters

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 12:41
Geologists investigating an unusual landform in the Wabash River Valley in southern Illinois expected to find seismic origins, but instead found the aftermath of rushing floodwaters from melting Midwestern glaciers after the last ice age. The finding could give clues to how floodwaters may behave as glacier melt increases today in places like Greenland and Iceland.

Salty sea spray affects lifetimes of clouds, researchers find

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 18:41
Ice particles from sea spray affect the phase structure of clouds and their radiative impacts, a new study reveals. Researchers now say that sea spray is a unique, underappreciated source of what are called ice nucleating particles -- microscopic bits that make their way into clouds and initiate the formation of ice, and in turn affect the composition and duration of clouds.

Same growth rate shown for farming, non-farming prehistoric people

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 18:39
Prehistoric human populations of hunter-gatherers in a region of North America grew at the same rate as farming societies in Europe, according to a new radiocarbon analysis. The findings challenge the commonly held view that the advent of agriculture 10,000-12,000 years ago accelerated human population growth.

Melting sea ice increases Arctic precipitation, complicates climate predictions

Mon, 12/21/2015 - 18:34
The melting of sea ice will significantly increase Arctic precipitation, creating a climate feedback comparable to doubling global carbon dioxide, a new study finds.

Life exploded on Earth after slow rise of oxygen

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 07:43
It took 100 million years for oxygen levels in the oceans and atmosphere to increase to the level that allowed the explosion of animal life on Earth about 600 million years ago, according to a study.

Scientists peg Anthropocene to first farmers

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 13:35
A new analysis of the fossil record shows that a deep pattern in the structure of plant and animal communities remained the same for 300 million years. Then, 6,000 years ago, the pattern was disrupted--at about the same time that people started farming in North America and populations rose. The research suggests that humans were the cause of this profound change in nature.

Climate change rapidly warming world's lakes

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 16:45
Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a study spanning six continents. The study is the largest of its kind and the first to use a combination of satellite temperature data and long-term ground measurements. A total of 235 lakes, representing more than half of the world's freshwater supply, were monitored for at least 25 years.

Fewer landslides than expected after 2015 Nepal earthquake

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 15:22
Fewer landslides resulted from the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake than expected. In addition, no large floods from overflowing glacial lakes occurred after the magnitude 7.8 quake, which struck near the town of Gorkha, Nepal on April 25, 2015. The pattern of where the landslides occurred was unexpected.

New light shed on lake evaporation under changing climate

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 13:05
For the first time, scientists have shown how winds blowing across lakes affect the chemical makeup of water vapor above and evaporated from lakes, which may aid research into past and present water cycles under changing climate.

Tiny phytoplankton have big influence on climate change

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:59
Researchers have investigated what climate models have to say about how phytoplankton and ocean ecosystems will respond to the profound changes that Earth is undergoing.

Greenland Ice Sheet during the 20th Century -- a missing link in IPCC's climate report

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:44
For the first time, climate an international team of researchers has published their direct observations of the reduction and melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the latest 110 years. The observation-based results close a gap in IPCC's estimate of global sea level budget.

Northern Alaska: North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 17:59
New projections of permafrost change in northern Alaska suggest far-reaching effects will come sooner than expected, scientists report.

East Antarctic Ice Sheet has stayed frozen for 14 million years, team reports

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 15:06
Researchers used an innovative technique to date one of Antarctica's ancient lake deposits. They found that the deposits have remained frozen for at least the last 14 million years, suggesting that the surrounding region, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, or EAIS, has likewise remained intact.