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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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Methane bubbling off Svalbard is not a source of atmospheric greenhouse gas

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 07:58
Methane seeps from seafloor deposits near Svalbard release less ‘greenhouse gas’ into the atmosphere than other Arctic sites because ocean currents there form an effective barrier. The Arctic contains large volumes of methane stored in forms that turn into gas if temperatures rise or the pressure they are subject to decreases. These forms include methane trapped in marine sediment beneath permafrost as hydrate– a form of methane ice. If methane gas escapes from these deposits, as well as from seafloor reservoirs, it could add to atmospheric warming, causing a positive climate forcing feedback, say investigators.

Two degree Celsius warming locks in sea level rise for thousands of years

Sun, 10/18/2015 - 20:38
A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C to 2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research.

2015 Antarctic maximum sea ice extent breaks streak of record highs

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 16:07
The sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean reached its yearly maximum extent on Oct. 6. At 7.27 million square miles (18.83 million square kilometers), the new maximum extent falls roughly in the middle of the record of Antarctic maximum extents compiled during the 37 years of satellite measurements -- this year's maximum extent is both the 22nd lowest and the 16th highest.

Rise and fall of agrarian states influenced by climate volatility

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 16:07
Climate variability is one of the major forces in the rise and fall of agrarian states in Mexico and Peru, according to a team of researchers looking at both climate and archaeological records.

Scientists identify climate 'tipping points'

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 07:43
Scientists have identified potential ‘tipping points’ where abrupt regional climate shifts could occur due to global warming. The scientists analyzed the climate model simulations on which the recent 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports are based. They found evidence of 41 cases of regional abrupt changes in the ocean, sea ice, snow cover, permafrost and terrestrial biosphere. Many of these events occur for global warming levels of less than two degrees, a threshold sometimes presented as a safe limit.

Changing climate in the polar regions can affect rest of world far quicker than previously thought

Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:11
A new study of the relationship between ocean currents and climate change has found that they are tightly linked, and that changes in the polar regions can affect the ocean and climate on the opposite side of the world within one to two hundred years, far quicker than previously thought.

Powerful winds are carving away Antarctic snow

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 10:19
A new study has found that powerful winds are removing massive amounts of snow from parts of Antarctica, potentially boosting estimates of how much the continent might contribute to sea level.

Billions of juvenile fish under the Arctic sea ice

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 10:19
Using a new net, marine biologists have, for the first time, been able to catch polar cod directly beneath the Arctic sea ice with a trawl, allowing them to determine their large-scale distribution and origin. This information is of fundamental importance, as polar cod are a major source of food for seals, whales and seabirds in the Arctic.

Melting of Antarctic ice shelves set to intensify

Mon, 10/12/2015 - 10:57
New research projects a doubling of surface melting of Antarctic ice shelves by 2050 and that by 2100 melting may surpass intensities associated with ice shelf collapse, if greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption continue at the present rate.

Paleoclimate researchers find connection between carbon cycles, climate trends

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 14:55
Making predictions about climate variability often means looking to the past to find trends. Now paleoclimate researchers have found clues in exposed bedrock alongside an Alabama highway that could help forecast climate variability. In their study, the researchers verified evidence suggesting carbon dioxide decreased significantly at the end of the Ordovician Period, 450 million years ago, preceding an ice age and eventual mass extinction. These results will help climatologists better predict future environmental changes.

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 14:52
The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research. The scientists suggest that as global and regional warming continues, the eastern Horn of Africa -- which includes Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia -- will receive progressively less rain during the crucial 'long rains' season of March, April and May.

Unexpected information about Earth's climate history from Yellow River sediment

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 07:30
By meticulously examining sediments in China's Yellow River, a Swedish-Chinese research group are showing that the history of tectonic and climate evolution on Earth may need to be rewritten.

Greenland's ice sheet plumbing system revealed

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 07:30
Pioneering new research sheds light on the impact of climate change on subglacial lakes found under the Greenland ice sheet. A team of experts has studied the water flow paths from one such subglacial lake, which drained beneath the ice sheet in 2011.

Quantifying the impact of climate on ecosystems worldwide

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 13:25
Record-breaking temperatures and droughts are directly affecting ecosystems worldwide, an international research team of life scientists reports.

MacGyver this! New DYI experiment shows students the physics of climate change

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 10:04
Fishing line, paper clips, glass marble, glue -- no, not the makings of a MacGyver episode but a new experiment that lets students precisely measure the effects of global warming on oceans.

Earth's inner core was formed 1-1.5 billion years ago

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:56
There have been many estimates for when the earth's inner core was formed, but scientists have used new data which indicates that the Earth's inner core was formed 1-1.5 billion years ago as it 'froze' from the surrounding molten iron outer core.

Tiny ancient fossil from Spain shows birds flew over the heads of dinosaurs

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 13:24
A new discovery documents the intricate arrangement of the muscles and ligaments that controlled the main feathers of the wing of an ancient bird, supporting the notion that at least some of the most ancient birds performed aerodynamic feats in a fashion similar to those of many living birds.

The warmer the higher: Sea-level rise from Filchner-Ronne ice in Antarctica

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 11:10
The more ice is melted of the Antarctic Filchner-Ronne shelf, the more ice flows into the ocean, and the more the region contributes to global sea-level rise. Unlike some some other parts of Antarctica, this region is not characterized by instabilities which, once triggered, can lead to persistent ice discharge into the ocean even without a further increase of warming. So for the Filchner-Ronne ice, this is a tiny bit of good news.

Global warming can alter shape of the planet, as melting glaciers erode the land

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 13:22
Climate change is causing more than just warmer oceans and erratic weather. According to scientists, it also has the capacity to alter the shape of the planet.

Arctic sea ice still too thick for regular shipping route through Northwest Passage

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:54
Despite climate change, sea ice in the Northwest Passage (NWP) remains too thick and treacherous for it to be a regular commercial Arctic shipping route for many decades, according to new research. Prior to this research, there was little information about the thickness of sea ice in the NWP. Next to ice coverage and type, sea ice thickness plays the most important role in assessing shipping hazards and predicting ice break-up.