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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 21 min ago

Solution to Ice Age ocean chemistry puzzle

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 08:57
New research into the chemistry of the oceans during ice ages is helping to solve a puzzle that has engaged scientists for more than two decades. At issue is how much of the CO2 that entered the ocean during ice ages can be attributed to the 'biological pump', where atmospheric carbon is absorbed by phytoplankton and sequestered to the seafloor as organisms die and sink.

Warm ocean water attacking edges of Antarctica's ice shelves

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 13:29
Upside-down 'rivers' of warm ocean water are eroding the fractured edges of thick, floating Antarctic ice shelves from below, helping to create conditions that lead to ice-shelf breakup and sea-level rise, according to a new study. The findings describe a new process important to the future of Antarctica's ice and the continent's contribution to rising seas. Models and forecasts do not yet account for the newly understood and troubling scenario, which is already underway.

Study recommends special protection of emperor penguins

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 20:21
Researchers recommend additional measures to protect and conserve one of the most iconic Antarctic species -- the emperor penguin (Aptenodyptes forsteri).

Study of past California wildfire activity suggest climate change will worsen future fires

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 09:46
A new study finds that climate has been the dominant controller of wildfire activity in the Sierra Nevada region of the past 1,400 years, suggesting that future climate change is poised to make fires worse.

Early humans evolved in ecosystems unlike any found today

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 14:34
To understand the environmental pressures that shaped human evolution, scientists must reconstruct the ecosystems in which they lived. Because putting together the puzzle of millions-of-years-old ecosystems is a difficult task, many studies draw analogies with present-day African ecosystems, such as the Serengeti. A new study calls into question such approaches and suggests that the vast majority of human evolution occurred in ecosystems unlike any found today.

Early breeding season for some Arctic seabirds due global warming

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 10:33
The breeding season of some seabirds in Arctic regions takes place earlier as a result of the temperature rise caused by climate change, according to a new article.

Disappearing Peruvian glaciers

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 09:04
It is common knowledge that glaciers are melting in most areas across the globe. The speed at which tropical glaciers in the Peruvian Andes are retreating is particularly alarming, however. In the first detailed investigation of all Peruvian mountain ranges, a research team has ascertained a drastic reduction of almost 30 percent in the area covered by glaciers between 2000 and 2016.

The last mammoths died on a remote island

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 07:17
Isolation, extreme weather, and the possible arrival of humans may have killed off the holocene herbivores just 4,000 years ago.

Dust in ice cores leads to new knowledge on the advancement of the ice before the ice age

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 09:56
Working with the ice core ReCap, drilled close to the coast in East Greenland, researchers wondered why the dust particles from the interglacial period -- the warmer period of time between the ice ages -- were several times bigger than the dust particles from the ice age. The research led to the invention of a method able to map the advancement of the glaciers in cold periods and the melting in warmer periods.

Laser precision: NASA flights, satellite align over sea ice

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 10:40
The skies were clear, the winds were low, and the lasers aligned. In April, instruments aboard NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne campaign and the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite-2 succeeded in measuring the same Arctic sea ice at the same time, a tricky feat given the shifting sea ice.

Northern forests have lost crucial cold, snowy conditions

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 10:40
Winter conditions are changing more rapidly than any other season and researchers have found clear signs of a decline in frost days, snow covered days and other indicators of winter that could have lasting impacts on ecosystems, water supplies, the economy, tourism and human health.

African evidence support Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 10:03
A team of scientists from South Africa has discovered evidence partially supporting a hypothesis that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12,800 years ago, leading to global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals at the time of an episode called the Younger Dryas.

Thousands of meltwater lakes mapped on the east Antarctic ice sheet

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 09:58
The number of meltwater lakes on the surface of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is more significant than previously thought, according to new research.

Humankind did not live with a high-carbon dioxide atmosphere until 1965

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 11:34
Humans have never before lived with the high carbon dioxide atmospheric conditions that have become the norm on Earth in the last 60 years, according to a new study.

Croc-like carnivores terrorized Triassic dinosaurs in southern Africa 210 million years ago

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 09:41
Giant, predatory croc-like animals that lived during the Triassic period in southern Africa preyed on early dinosaurs and mammal relatives 210 million years ago. These predators, known as 'rauisuchians' preyed on early herbivore dinosaurs and their mammal relatives living at the time.

New evidence of the Sahara's age

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 09:19
The Sahara Desert is vast, generously dusty, and surprisingly shy about its age. New research looking into what appears to be dust that the Sahara blew over to the Canary Islands is providing the first direct evidence from dry land that the age of the Sahara matches that found in deep-sea sediments: at least 4.6 million years old.

Why are mountains so high? It doesn't add up

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 08:31
Researchers have analyzed mountain ranges worldwide to show that a theory relating erosion and mountain height doesn't always add up.

Surface melting causes Antarctic glaciers to slip faster towards the ocean

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:13
Study shows for the first time a direct link between surface melting and short bursts of glacier acceleration in Antarctica. During these events, Antarctic Peninsula glaciers move up to 100% faster than average. Scientists call for these findings to be accounted for in sea level rise predictions.

Division by subtraction: Extinction of large mammal species likely drove survivors apart

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 13:23
A new study suggests that the extinctions of mammoths, dire wolves and other large mammal species in North America drove surviving species to distance themselves from their neighbors, reducing interactions as predators and prey, territorial competitors or scavengers. The discovery could preview the ecological effects of future extinctions, the researchers say.

Dust from a giant asteroid crash caused an ancient ice age

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 13:20
About 466 million years ago, long before the age of the dinosaurs, the Earth froze. The seas began to ice over at the Earth's poles, and new species evolved with the new temperatures. The cause of this ice age was a mystery, until now: a new study argues that the ice age was caused by global cooling, triggered by extra dust in the atmosphere from a giant asteroid collision in outer space.