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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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Nordic Seas cooled 500,000 years before global oceans

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 07:49
The cooling of the Nordic Seas towards modern temperatures started in the early Pliocene, half a million years before the global oceans cooled. A new study of fossil marine plankton demonstrates this.

Climate change threatens survival of common lizards

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:21
While there is no doubt that climate change is affecting many organisms, some species might be more sensitive than others. Reptiles, whose body temperature depends directly on environmental temperature, may be particularly vulnerable. Scientists have now shown experimentally that lizards cope very poorly with the climate predicted for the year 2100.

Ancient babies boost Bering land bridge layover

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:17
Scientists deciphered maternal genetic material from two babies buried together in Alaska 11,500 years ago. They found the infants had different mothers and were the northernmost known kin to two lineages of Native Americans found farther south throughout North and South America. The study supports the theory that Native Americans descended from people who migrated from Asia to Bering land bridge, then spent up to 10,000 years there before moving into the Americas beginning at least 15,000 years ago.

Ancient permafrost quickly transforms to carbon dioxide upon thaw

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:14
Researchers have quantified how rapidly ancient permafrost decomposes upon thawing and how much carbon dioxide is produced in the process.

Traces of enormous solar storms in the ice of Greenland and Antarctica

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 10:21
Solar storms and the particles they release result in spectacular phenomena such as auroras, but they can also pose a serious risk to our society. In extreme cases they have caused major power outages, and they could also lead to breakdowns of satellites and communication systems. According to a new study solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1000 years ago.

Parts of Philippines may submerge due to global warming

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 09:49
More than 167,000 hectares of coastland -- about 0.6% of the country’s total area -- are projected to go underwater in the Philippines, especially in low-lying island communities, according to recent research.

Formation of coastal sea ice in North Pacific drives ocean circulation, climate

Tue, 10/20/2015 - 13:48
An unprecedented analysis of North Pacific ocean circulation over the past 1.2 million years has found that sea ice formation in coastal regions is a key driver of deep ocean circulation, influencing climate on regional and global scales. Coastal sea ice formation takes place on relatively small scales, however, and is not captured well in global climate models.

Fossils reveal humans were greater threat than climate change to Caribbean wildlife

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 17:28
Nearly 100 fossil species pulled from a flooded cave in the Bahamas reveal a true story of persistence against all odds -- at least until the time humans stepped foot on the islands.

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.