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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 26 min 55 sec ago

43-year-old mystery of Polynya in Antarctica unraveled

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 09:22
A new study has unraveled the four decade long mystery surrounding the occurrence of a mid-sea Polynya -- a body of unfrozen ocean that appeared within a thick body of ice during Antarctica's winter almost two years ago.

Antarctica: The final frontier for marine biological invasions?

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 09:22
A new study looking at the implications of increased shipping activity and the impact on Antarctic marine biodiversity. The research is an important step in the quest to understand whether invasive species, introduced by shipping, will find the Antarctic marine environment more hospitable as Antarctica's climate changes.

Gulf of Maine seasonal wildlife timing shifts

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 12:34
Many researchers and amateur naturalists track dates for the first robin or pond ice-out; such records offer data on timing of plant and animal life cycle events known as phenology. While such observations are common in terrestrial systems, a new report shows limited understanding of similar marine events. The authors urge researchers to increase observations and use more phenological datasets to understand how marine species respond to climate change through phenological shifts in the Gulf of Maine and coastal regions.

Arctic warming will accelerate climate change and impact global economy

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 10:40
Carbon released into the atmosphere by the increasing loss of Arctic permafrost, combined with higher solar absorption by the Earth's surface due to the melting of sea ice and land snow, will accelerate climate change -- and have a multi-trillion dollar impact on the world economy.

The Cerrado once connected the Andes with the Atlantic Rainforest

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 14:38
A genetic and computational analysis of birds suggests that the Andean and Atlantic tropical forests, which are now almost a thousand kilometers apart, were connected via the Cerrado in the distant past.

NASA study verifies global warming trends

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 07:45
A new study has verified the accuracy of recent global warming figures. The team used measurements of the 'skin' temperature of the Earth taken by a satellite-based infrared measurement system called AIRS (Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder) from 2003 to 2017. They compared these with station-based analyses of surface air temperature anomalies.

What Earth's gravity reveals about climate change

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:21
On March 17, 2002, the satellite duo GRACE was launched to map the Earth's gravity field more precisely than ever before. The measurements make it possible to monitor the terrestrial water cycle, the mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers or changes in sea levels. This helps to better understand important trends in the global climate system.

North Atlantic warming hole impacts jet stream

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 13:39
The North Atlantic warming hole (NAWH), a region of reduced warming located in the North Atlantic Ocean, significantly affects the North Atlantic jet stream in climate simulations of the future.

Warming Arctic permafrost releasing large amounts of potent greenhouse gas

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:08
A recent study shows that nitrous oxide emissions from thawing Alaskan permafrost are about twelve times higher than previously assumed. About one fourth of the Northern Hemisphere is covered in permafrost, which is thawing at an increasing rate. As temperatures increase, the peat releases more and more greenhouse gases. And, even though researchers are monitoring carbon dioxide and methane, no one seems to be watching the most potent greenhouse gas: nitrous oxide.

We now know how insects and bacteria control ice

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 14:06
Scientists show how key proteins produced in bacteria and insects can either promote or inhibit the formation of ice, based on their length and their ability to team up to form large ice-binding surfaces. The results have wide application, particularly in understanding precipitation in clouds.

New research adds to work of Prandtl, father of modern aerodynamics

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 12:15
Researchers used both linear stability theory and direct numerical simulations to uncover, for the first time, fluid instabilities in the Prandtl model for katabatic slope flows. Not only will this discovery be important for agriculture, aviation and weather prediction, but it will also be vital for climate change research and associated sea-level rise, as accurate prediction of katabatic surface wind profiles over large ice sheets and glaciers is critical in energy balance of melting ice.

Ice Ages occur when tropical islands and continents collide

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:52
Earth's steady state is warm and balmy, but half a dozen times over the past billion years, the planet developed ice caps and glaciers. Researchers have now amassed evidence that these cold snaps occurred when tectonic activity propelled continents headlong into volcanic island arcs in the tropics, uplifting ophiolites that rapidly absorbed carbon dioxide, cooling Earth. Once collisions stopped, CO2 again built up from volcanic eruptions and a runaway greenhouse effect warmed the planet.

Warm winds in autumn could strain Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:18
New research shows that the Larsen C ice shelf -- the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica -- experienced an unusual spike in late summer and early autumn surface melting in the years 2015 to 2017. The study, spanning 35 years from 1982 to 2017, quantifies how much of this additional melting is due to warm, dry air currents called foehn winds that originate high in the peninsula's central mountain range.

Driving a wedge into historic gaps of climate science

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 09:17
Evidence of historic marine life present in Alaskan permafrost is helping scientists reconstruct ancient changes in the ice cover over the Arctic Ocean.

Yukon warmest it has been in 13,600 years

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 11:06
A study uses new research techniques to reveal alarming information about climate change in Canada's north. A study confirms that recent climate warming in the central Yukon region has surpassed the warmest temperatures experienced in the previous 13,600 years, a finding that could have important implications in the context of current global warming trends.

The oldest ice on Earth may be able to solve the puzzle of the planet's climate history

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:00
Scientists want to drill a 1.5 million year old ice core in Antarctica. An analysis of the climate data stored in the ice should contribute to a better understanding of the alternation between warm and cold periods.

Biodiversity: Climate key to abundance of life

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:00
Natural history museum paleontologists have succeeded in mapping historical biodiversity in unprecedented detail. For the first time, it is now possible to compare the impact of climate on global biodiversity in the distant past -- a result that paints a gloomy picture for the preservation of present-day species richness.

More than 90% of glacier volume in the Alps could be lost by 2100

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 07:32
New research on how glaciers in the European Alps will fare under a warming climate has come up with concerning results. Under a limited warming scenario, glaciers would lose about two-thirds of their present-day ice volume, while under strong warming, the Alps would be mostly ice free by 2100.

Carbon lurking in deep ocean threw ancient climate switch, say researchers

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:40
A million years ago, a longtime pattern of alternating glaciations and warm periods dramatically changed, when ice ages suddenly became longer and more intense. Scientists have long suspected that this was connected to the slowdown of a key Atlantic Ocean current system that today once again is slowing. A new study of sediments from the Atlantic bottom directly links this slowdown with a massive buildup of carbon dragged from the air into the abyss.

Melting glaciers causing sea levels to rise at ever greater rates

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:40
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic as well as ice melt from glaciers all over the world are causing sea levels to rise. Glaciers alone lost more than 9,000 billion tons of ice since 1961, raising water levels by 27 millimeters, an international research team has now found.