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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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What caused the mass extinction of Earth's first animals?

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:05
Fossil records tell us that the first macroscopic animals appeared on Earth about 575 million years ago. Twenty-four million years later, the diversity of animals began to mysteriously decline, leading to Earth's first know mass extinction event. A research team is helping to unravel this mystery and understand why this extinction event happened, what it can tell us about our origins, and how the world as we know it came to be.

New study explains Antarctica's coldest temperatures

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 18:26
Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica's ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly -100 degrees Celsius, according to a new study. The finding could change scientists' understanding of just how low temperatures can get at Earth's surface, and how it happens, according to the researchers.

Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 13:11
An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt.

Clovis site: Montana burial site answers questions about early humans

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:24
Scientists have shown that at the Anzick site in Montana - the only known Clovis burial site - the skeletal remains of a young child and the antler and stone artifacts found there were buried at the same time, raising new questions about the early inhabitants of North America.

New model for gauging ice sheet movement may improve sea-level-rise predictions

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:24
Researchers discovered friction -- or 'basal drag' -- between ice sheets and the hard bed underneath has no influence on how fast glaciers flow.

Land-based portion of massive East Antarctic ice sheet retreated little during past eight million years

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 14:44
Large parts of the massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet did not retreat significantly during a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were similar to today's levels.

Why the tongue of the Pine Island Glacier suddenly shrank

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:48
The Pine Island Glacier in Western Antarctica is not only one of the fastest-flowing ice streams in the Southern Hemisphere; over the past 11 years, four major icebergs have calved from its floating tongue.

Leading Antarctic experts offer two possible views of continent's future

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 20:38
The next 10 years will be critical for the future of Antarctica, and choices made will have long-lasting consequences, says an international group of Antarctic research scientists. It lays out two different plausible future scenarios for the continent and its Southern Ocean over the next 50 years.

What saved the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 10,000 years ago will not save it today

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 09:12
The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago, scientists found. The reason for the rebound is that, relieved from the weight of the retreating ice, the Earth crust lifted. This made the ice re-advance towards the ocean. Unfortunately, this mechanism is much to slow to prevent dangerous sea-level rise caused by West Antarctica's ice-loss in the present and near future.

Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:52
Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today.

Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Scientists have reviewed decades of satellite measurements to reveal how and why Antarctica's glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice are changing. Their report explains how ice shelf thinning and collapse have triggered an increase in the continent's contribution to sea level rise.

Antarctica ramps up sea level rise

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Ice losses from Antarctica have increased global sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, with two fifths of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone. The findings are from a major climate assessment known as the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise (IMBIE). It is the most complete picture of Antarctic ice sheet change to date -- 84 scientists from 44 international organizations combined 24 satellite surveys to produce the assessment.

Climate change accelerating rise in sea levels

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
A new study has discovered that rising sea levels could be accelerated by vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic.

Ancient agricultural activity caused lasting environmental changes

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:30
Agricultural activity by humans more than 2,000 years ago had a more significant and lasting impact on the environment than previously thought.

Ammonia distribution in Earth's upper atmosphere

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 15:28
A new study helps clarify how ammonia is present in Earth's upper atmosphere. Using computer modeling, the researchers found ammonia molecules trapped in liquid cloud droplets are released during convection where these particles freeze and subsequently collide in the upper atmosphere.

Researchers investigate the correlation between wind and wave height in the Arctic Ocean

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:00
An international research team has found an increase in high waves and winds in the ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean, a potentially dangerous navigational tipping point for the 'new and unusual' state of the waters.

Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:31
The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy? New research published in Icarus provides evidence for the latter.

Secret life of an enigmatic Antarctic apex predator

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 14:41
Scientists have, for the first time, tracked the lives of leopard seals as they migrate around Antarctica. The team followed these formidable predators as they move from the frozen Antarctic sea-ice to the more northerly sub-Antarctic islands where they prey on penguins, seals and krill.

New insight into Earth's crust, mantle and outer core interactions

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 09:34
A new study uses previously unavailable data to confirm a correlation between the movement of plate tectonics on the Earth's surface, the flow of mantle above the Earth's core and the rate of reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, which has long been hypothesized.

Red tide fossils point to Jurassic sea flood

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 09:34
Dinosaur-age fossilized remains of tiny organisms normally found in the sea have been discovered in inland, arid Australia -- suggesting the area was, for a short time at least, inundated by sea water 40 million years before Australia's large inland sea existed.