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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 58 min 26 sec ago

Antarctic bottom waters freshening at unexpected rate

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 13:57
In the cold depths along the sea floor, Antarctic Bottom Waters are part of a global circulatory system, supplying oxygen-, carbon- and nutrient-rich waters to the world's oceans. Over the last decade, scientists have been monitoring changes in these waters. But a new study suggests these changes are themselves shifting in unexpected ways, with potentially significant consequences for the ocean and climate.

Florida corals tell of cold spells and dust bowls past, foretell weather to come

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 08:17
Scientists seeking an oceanic counterpart to tree rings that record past weather on land found one in Dry Tortugas National Park, where corals contain chemical signals of past water temperatures. Researchers found coral core evidence that the 60- to 85-year-long cycle called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) has taken place since the 1730s, influencing mainland rainfall, droughts, hurricanes and Gulf Stream flows.

Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 13:52
A team of researchers, including a mathematician, has determined how Arctic melt ponds form, solving a paradoxical mystery of how a pool of water actually sits atop highly porous ice.

Sea-surface temps during last interglacial period like modern temps

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 13:33
Sea-surface temperatures during the last interglaciation period were like those of today, a new study reports. The trend is worrisome, as sea levels during the last interglacial period were between six and nine meters above their present height.

Regional sea-level scenarios will help Northeast plan for faster-than-global rise

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 10:10
Sea level in the Northeast and in some other US regions will rise significantly faster than the global average, according to a new report. In a worst-case scenario, global sea level could rise by about 8 feet by 2100, according to the report, which lays out six scenarios intended to inform national and regional planning.

Climate change prompts Alaska fish to change breeding behavior

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:41
One of Alaska’s most abundant freshwater fish species is altering its breeding patterns in response to climate change, which could impact the ecology of northern lakes that already acutely feel the effects of a changing climate, research suggests.

Green Sahara's ancient rainfall regime revealed

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:17
Rainfall patterns in the Sahara during the 6,000-year 'Green Sahara' period have been pinpointed by analyzing marine sediments. From 5,000 to 11,000 years ago, what is now the Sahara Desert had ten times the rainfall it does today and was home to hunter-gatherers who lived in the region's savannahs and wooded grasslands. The new research is the first to compile a continuous record of the region's rainfall going 25,000 years into the past.

Seafloor valleys discovered below West Antarctic glaciers

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:52
Glaciologists have uncovered large valleys in the ocean floor beneath some of the massive glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. Carved by earlier advances of ice during colder periods, the troughs enable warm, salty water to reach the undersides of glaciers, fueling their increasingly rapid retreat.

New reconstruction of an ancient ice sheet

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 07:24
A new model reconstruction shows in exceptional detail the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last ice age. This can help scientists understand how climate and ocean warming can affect the remaining ice masses on Earth.

Inception of the last ice age

Tue, 01/17/2017 - 13:02
A new model reconstruction shows in exceptional detail the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last ice age. This can help scientists understand how climate and ocean warming can effect the remaining ice masses on Earth.

Genome sequence of polar alga explains evolutionary adaptation to extreme variable climate

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 11:18
An international team of researchers has identified the genetic mutations which allowed microalgae (phytoplankton) from the Southern Ocean to adapt to extreme and highly variable climates -- a step towards understanding how polar organisms are impacted by climate change.

Tracking Antarctic adaptations in diatoms

Mon, 01/16/2017 - 11:18
In the Antarctic Ocean, large populations of the diatom Fragillariopsis cylindrus dominate the phytoplankton communities. To learn more about how F. cylindrus adapted to its extremely cold environment, a team of researchers conducted a comparative genomic analysis involving three diatoms. The results provided insights into the genome structure and evolution of F. cylindrus, as well as this diatom's role in the Southern Ocean.

Changing atmospheric conditions may contribute to stronger ocean waves in Antarctica

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 14:56
A new study provides important details on the extent of sea ice, which can protect ice shelves from the impacts of ocean storms, in the Antarctic Peninsula.

How the darkness and the cold killed the dinosaurs

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:30
Climate scientists now reconstructed how tiny droplets of sulfuric acid formed high up in the air after the well-known impact of a large asteroid and blocking the sunlight for several years, had a profound influence on life on Earth.

Pretty in pink: Some algae like it cold

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 14:13
Scientific efforts are aimed at learning more about the effects of pink snow algae on glaciers and snowfields covering Pacific Northwest stratovolcanoes.

Rapid Arctic warming has in the past shifted Southern Ocean winds

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 09:16
Ice core records from the two poles show that during the last ice age, sharp spikes in Arctic temperatures shifted the position of winds around Antarctica.

Giant iceberg, 5,000 square kilometers, set to calve from Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 12:19
A huge iceberg looks set to break away from the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula. Satellite observations from December 2016 show a growing crack in the ice shelf which suggests that an iceberg with an area of up to 5,000 square kilometers is likely to calve soon.

Great Barrier Reef almost drowned; climate implications

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 08:29
The first comprehensive analysis of the Great Barrier Reef at a time of rapid sea-level rise during the beginning of the Last Interglacial found it almost died. The research shows the reef can be resilient but questions remain about cumulative impacts. The research also provides an accurate identification of the age of the fossil reef that grew before the modern Great Barrier Reef, some 129,000-121,000 years ago.

Radar reveals meltwater's year-round life under Greenland ice

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 11:32
When summer temperatures rise in Greenland and the melt season begins, water pools on the surface, and sometimes disappears down holes in the ice. That water may eventually reach bedrock, creating a slipperier, faster slide for glaciers. But where does it go once it gets there, and what happens to it in the winter? A new study helps answer these questions.

Ocean Acidification: High-tech mooring will measure beneath Antarctic ice

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 11:32
Scientists have deployed a high-tech mooring beneath the seasonally ice-covered waters around Antarctica to better understand ocean acidification in polar regions.