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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 36 min ago

New nitrogen source in Arctic

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:09
Scientists have revealed that the partnership between an alga and bacteria is making the essential element nitrogen newly available in the Arctic Ocean. The microbial process of 'nitrogen fixation' converts the element into a form that organisms can use, and was discovered recently in the frigid polar waters. This shift may be a result of climate change and could affect global chemical cycles.

It's raining on the Greenland ice -- in the winter

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:14
Rainy weather is becoming increasingly common over parts of the Greenland ice sheet, triggering sudden melting events that are eating at the ice and priming the surface for more widespread future melting, says a new study. Some parts of the ice sheet are even receiving rain in winter -- a phenomenon that will spread as climate continues to warm, say the researchers.

Migrating snowline plays outsized role in setting pace of Greenland ice melt

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 14:24
Meltwater from Greenland's ice sheet is a leading contributor to global sea level rise, and a new study shows that an underappreciated factor -- the position of the snowline on the ice sheet -- plays a key role in setting the pace of melting.

New insights into the geographical landscape of prehistoric central Tibet

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 13:30
Scientists have uncovered new evidence, using recently-discovered 25-million-year-old fossilized palm leaves, that Tibet's geography was not as 'high and dry' as previously thought.

As sea level rises, wetlands crank up their carbon storage

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:14
Some wetlands perform better under pressure. A new study revealed that when faced with sea-level rise, coastal wetlands respond by burying even more carbon in their soils.

Climate-driven evolution in trees alters their ecosystems

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 11:53
A new study explores how climate, evolution, plants, and soils are linked. The research is the first to show how climate-driven evolution in tree populations alters the way trees directly interact with their immediate soil environment.

New satellite keeps close watch on Antarctic ice loss

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 10:06
A recently-launched satellite mission has captured precision data on the elevation of the Antarctic ice sheet proving a valuable addition to monitoring efforts in the region, according to new work.

Rain is important for how carbon dioxide affects grasslands

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 10:06
Vegetation biomass on grasslands increases in response to elevated carbon dioxide levels, but less than expected. Vegetation on grasslands with a wet spring season has the greatest increase.

Vast record of past climate fluctuations now available thanks to laser imaging of shells

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 07:17
An international team has developed newly refined techniques for obtaining past climate data from mollusc shells. Mollusc shells are abundant in archaeological sites spanning the last 160,000 years. Using laser imaging, researchers have now found new ways of reconstructing how climate changed during a mollusc's lifetime, down to the seasonal level. Their technique makes it cheaper and faster to analyze these shells, opening the door to accurately map past climate in coastal areas all over the world.

Alaska forest fires over past 450 years

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 14:36
In a recent study, researchers explored the ways forest succession and climate variability interacted and influenced fires in Alaska's boreal forests over the past four centuries -- from 1550 to 2015.

Climate change is leading to unpredictable ecosystem disruption for migratory birds

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 07:36
Using data on 77 North American migratory bird species from the eBird citizen-science program, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology say that, in as little as four decades, it may be very difficult to predict how climate change will affect migratory bird populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. Their conclusions are presented in a paper published in the journal Ecography.

Thousands of tiny quakes shake Antarctic ice at night

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 14:49
Scientists placed seismometers on the McMurdo Ice Shelf and recorded hundreds of thousands of tiny 'ice quakes' that appear to be caused by pools of partially melted ice expanding and freezing at night. The phenomenon may be able to help scientists track glacier melting -- and to help explain the breakup of large ice shelves.

Human 'footprint' on Antarctica measured for first time

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:16
The full extent of the human 'footprint' on Antarctica has been revealed for the first time by new research which used satellite images to measure stations, huts, runways, waste sites and tourist camps at 158 locations. The study found that more than half of all large ice-free coastal areas of Antarctica have now been disturbed by human activity.

Mystery of green icebergs may soon be solved

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:16
Researchers have proposed a new idea that may explain why some Antarctic icebergs are tinged emerald green rather than the normal blue, potentially solving a decades-long scientific mystery.

Amoebae diversified at least 750 million years ago, far earlier than expected

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 13:13
Reconstitution of Amoebozoa's evolution shows significant Precambrian species diversity. This study changes the view of how life evolved in the very remote past and deepens the understanding of current climate change.

Drilling results reveal global climate influence on basin waters in young rifts

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 10:36
New results from the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, a continental rift zone where the first stage of ocean basin formation is taking place, show how the environmental conditions and sediment input into the rift basin changed as the Earth alternated between non-glaciated to glaciated conditions over the last 500 thousand years.

Ice-free Arctic summers could happen on earlier side of predictions

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:11
The Arctic Ocean could become ice-free in the summer in the next 20 years due to a natural, long-term warming phase in the tropical Pacific that adds to human-caused warming, according to a new study.

Ancient wetlands provide new insight into global carbon cycle

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 08:16
Scientists have unearthed and pieced together evidence on more than 1,000 ancient wetland sites from across the globe, that are presently covered by fields, forests and lakes. Although vanished from the Earth's surface, these buried sites could explain some of the differences between global carbon cycle models and real-life observations.

130,000 years of data show peatlands store carbon long-term

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:02
An international team of scientists has become the first to conduct a study of global peatland extent and carbon stocks through the last interglacial-glacial cycle 130,000 years ago to the present. The team discovered that northern peatland expanded across high latitudes during warm periods and were buried during periods of cooling, or glacial advance.

Climate change contributed to fall of Cahokia

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:02
A new study shows climate change may have contributed to the decline of Cahokia, a famed prehistoric city near present-day St. Louis. And it involves ancient human feces.