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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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Scientists find record warm water in Antarctica, pointing to cause behind troubling glacier melt

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 16:45
A team of scientists has observed, for the first time, the presence of warm water at a vital point underneath a glacier in Antarctica -- an alarming discovery that points to the cause behind the gradual melting of this ice shelf while also raising concerns about sea-level rise around the globe.

Meteorites reveal high carbon dioxide levels on early Earth

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 16:44
Tiny meteorites no larger than grains of sand hold new clues about the atmosphere on ancient Earth, according to scientists.

Scientists find far higher than expected rate of underwater glacial melting

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 08:14
Tidewater glaciers, the massive rivers of ice that end in the ocean, may be melting underwater much faster than previously thought, according to a new study that used robotic kayaks. The findings, which challenge current frameworks for analyzing ocean-glacier interactions, have implications for the rest of the world's tidewater glaciers, whose rapid retreat is contributing to sea-level rise.

Driven by Earth's orbit, climate changes in Africa may have aided human migration

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 13:54
New research describes a dynamic climate and vegetation model that explains when regions across Africa, areas of the Middle East, and the Mediterranean were wetter and drier and how the plant composition changed in tandem, possibly providing migration corridors throughout time.

Patterns of thinning of Antarctica's biggest glacier are opposite to previously observed

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 12:48
Using the latest satellite technology from the European Space Agency (ESA), scientists have been tracking patterns of mass loss from Pine Island -- Antarctica's largest glacier.

Native Americans did not make large-scale changes to environment prior to European contact

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:37
Contrary to long-held beliefs, humans did not make major changes to the landscape prior to European colonization, according to new research. These new insights into the past could help to inform how landscapes are managed in the future.

Mapping the path of climate change

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:21
Predicting a major transition, such as climate change, is extremely difficult, but a new probabilistic framework is the first step in identifying the path between a shift in two environmental states.

Quo vadis Antarctic bottom water?

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 10:04
The formation of deep water, which is an important component of the climate system, takes place in only a few parts of the ocean: In the subpolar North Atlantic and in a few places in the Southern Hemisphere. There, the so-called Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) is formed. While today AABW is circulating northwards into the other ocean basins, results of a new study show, that this was different under extreme climatic conditions in the past.

Earth's oldest asteroid strike linked to 'big thaw'

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 09:05
Scientists have discovered Earth's oldest asteroid strike occurred at Yarrabubba, in outback Western Australia, and coincided with the end of a global deep freeze known as a Snowball Earth. The research used isotopic analysis of minerals to calculate the precise age of the Yarrabubba crater for the first time, putting it at 2.229 billion years old -- making it 200 million years older than the next oldest impact.

The salt of the comet

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:30
Researchers have found an explanation for why very little nitrogen could previously be accounted for in the nebulous covering of comets: the building block for life predominantly occurs in the form of ammonium salts, the occurrence of which could not previously be measured. The salts may be a further indication that comet impacts may have made life on Earth possible in the first place.

Arctic sea ice can't 'bounce back'

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:29
Arctic sea ice cannot 'quickly bounce back' if climate change causes it to melt, new research suggests.

New assessment of gas locked in ice in European waters

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 12:04
A study has mapped several sites in Europe containing gas hydrate - a relatively clean fuel which could help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewables.

Plant genomes reveal the basis for adaptation to contrasting climates

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 09:40
In the face of rapid climate change, it is important that plants can adapt quickly to new conditions to ensure their survival. Using field experiments and plant genome studies, an international research team has pinpointed areas of the genome that are affected during local adaptation to contrasting climates. This new insight into local adaptation represents an important first step towards future development of crops that are resilient to climate change.

SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 14:53
A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch.

Plant life expanding in the Everest region

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 11:26
Plant life is expanding in the area around Mount Everest, and across the Himalayan region, new research shows.

Global warming is the kindling that caused extensive wildfire

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 09:10
Researchers identified Arctic Oscillation as the cause for the recent wildfires in Siberia. Their study forecasts wildfire activity in spring, helping to prevent carbon release and global warming.

Novel avian species: 10 new bird taxa in islands of Wallacea

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 08:38
A research team found five bird species and five subspecies new to science in three small island groups off Sulawesi, Indonesia. The islands are situated in Indonesia's Wallacea region, an archipelago at the interface between the Oriental and Australian biogeographical realms, named after Sir Alfred Wallace.

Cracks in Arctic sea ice turn low clouds on and off

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 06:37
The prevailing view has been that more leads are associated with more low-level clouds during winter. But an atmospheric scientists noticed something strange in their study of these leads: when lead occurrence was greater, there were fewer, not more clouds.

Scientists use ancient marine fossils to unravel long-standing climate puzzle

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 09:55
Scientists have shed new light on the Earth's climate behavior during the last known period of global warming over 14 million years ago.

Sea-ice-free Arctic makes permafrost vulnerable to thawing

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 12:16
New research provides evidence from Siberian caves suggesting that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean plays an essential role in stabilizing permafrost and its large store of carbon.

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