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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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Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 11:53
A new technique based in information theory promises to improve researchers' ability to interpret ice core samples and our understanding of Earth's climate history.

During last warming period, Antarctica heated up 2 to 3 times more than planet average

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 10:15
A new study of warming after the last ice age 20,000 years ago confirms climate models that predict an amplification of warming at the poles. By 15,000 years ago, the Antarctic had warmed about 11 degrees Celsius, almost 3 times the average global warming (4 degrees Celsius). The calculations, based on temperature measurements down a 3.4-kilometer-deep borehole, prove that climate models do a good job of estimating past climatic conditions and, very likely, future changes.

Growing mosquito populations linked to urbanization, DDT's slow decay

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 10:02
Mosquito populations have increased as much as ten-fold over the past five decades in New York, New Jersey, and California, according to long-term datasets from mosquito monitoring programs. The number of mosquito species in these areas increased two- to four-fold in the same period. A new study finds the main drivers of these changes were the gradual waning of DDT concentrations in the environment and increased urbanization.

Longest-living animal gives up ocean climate secrets

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 10:02
A study of the longest-living animal on Earth, the quahog clam, has provided researchers with an unprecedented insight into the history of the oceans.

The coldest decade of the millennium?

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:53
While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, a researcher noticed something odd. Compared with other decades of the last millennium, many of the 1430s' winters and some springs were extremely cold in the Low Countries, as well as in other parts of Europe.

Ice Age hunters destroyed forests throughout Europe

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 08:28
Large-scale forest fires started by prehistoric hunter-gatherers are probably the reason why Europe is not more densely forested, researchers report.

Bioenergy grass can withstand freezing temperatures

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 12:36
Prairie cordgrass, a native perennial grass used for biomass energy, is tolerant to salt, flooding, and freezing stress. A new study demonstrates the gene expression patterns responsible for freezing tolerance in prairie cordgrass. Once the genes responsible for freezing tolerance are identified in prairie cordgrass, they may be applied to other crops in the future.

Lake ecologists see winter as a key scientific frontier

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:21
As long as ecologists have studied temperate lakes, the winter has been their off-season. It's difficult, even dangerous, to look under the ice, and they figured plants, animals and algae weren't doing much in the dark and cold anyway. But an international team of 62 scientists looking at more than 100 lakes has concluded that life under the ice is vibrant, complex and surprisingly active. Their findings stand to complicate the understanding of freshwater systems just as climate change is warming lakes around the planet.

West Antarctic Ice Shelf Breaking Up From the Inside Out

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 07:53
A key glacier in Antarctica is breaking apart from the inside out, suggesting that the ocean is weakening ice on the edges of the continent.

Gulfstream may strengthen with more precipitation in the far north

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 07:17
Using a new theory, a researcher shows that more freshwater in the Arctic may strengthen the Gulfstream’s extension into the polar regions – the opposite of what has generally been anticipated with future climate change.

Endangered Australasian marsupials are ancient survivors of climate change

Thu, 11/24/2016 - 07:15
An international team of researchers has analyzed fossils and DNA from living and recently extinct species to show that conservation sensitive Australasian marsupials are much older than previously thought.

Huge reduction in African dust plume impacted climate 11,000 years ago

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 13:36
Scientists have discovered a huge reduction in an African dust plume that led to more Saharan monsoons 11,000 years ago, suggests a new report.

Thinning, retreat of West Antarctic Glacier began in 1940s

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 13:02
The present thinning and retreat of Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica is part of a climatically forced trend that was triggered in the 1940s, new research by an international team shows.

Most meltwater in Greenland fjords likely comes from icebergs, not glaciers

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 10:51
Icebergs contribute more meltwater to Greenland's fjords than previously thought, losing up to half of their volume as they move through the narrow inlets, according to new research.

Searching for traces of ancient life in Antarctica

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 10:09
A quest to understand if and how life can endure in extreme cold -- on Earth and, perhaps one day, on Mars -- is sending researchers to Antarctica to search for, and then sequence, ancient bacteria.

Asteroid impacts could create niches for early life, suggests Chicxulub crater study

Thu, 11/17/2016 - 13:09
Scientists studying the Chicxulub crater have shown how large asteroid impacts deform rocks in a way that may produce habitats for early life.

Impacts of climate warming, declining sea ice on Arctic whale migration

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 13:52
Declines in the Arctic sea ice are arguably the most dramatic evidence of the effects of current climate warming on ocean systems. While sea ice is perhaps the most defining feature of the habitat of Arctic whales, the relationship between them and sea ice is still largely a mystery, and there is increasing concern over how these species will adapt to climate related changes in sea ice.

Salty snow could affect air pollution in the Arctic

Wed, 11/16/2016 - 11:02
In pictures, the Arctic appears pristine and timeless with its barren lands and icy landscape. In reality, the area is rapidly changing. Scientists are working to understand the chemistry behind these changes to better predict what could happen to the region in the future. A research team reports that sea salt could play a larger role in the formation of local atmospheric pollutants than previously thought.

2016 is set to break even the temperature records of 2015

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 10:35
It is very likely that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, with global temperatures even higher than the record-breaking temperatures in 2015. Preliminary data shows that 2016's global temperatures are approximately 1.2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to an assessment by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Ancient, methane-derived carbon discovered in stoneflies

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 14:59
The first example of freshwater consumers using ancient methane-derived carbon has been revealed by researchers. This discovery represents the most extensive example of a methane-derived carbon contribution to a river ecosystem.