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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 21 min 44 sec ago

Glacier beds can get slipperier at higher sliding speeds

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 13:07
Scientists have found that as a glacier's sliding speed increases, the bed beneath the glacier can grow slipperier. That laboratory finding could help researchers make better predictions of glacier response to climate change and the corresponding sea-level rise.

Massive study provides first detailed look at how Greenland's ice is vanishing

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 14:45
Scientists used NASA satellite and aerial data to reconstruct how the ice sheet changed at nearly 100,000 locations over many years.

Scientists observe the Earth grow a new layer under an Icelandic volcano

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:41
New research into an Icelandic eruption has shed light on how the Earth’s crust forms, according to a new article.

Migrating 'supraglacial' lakes could trigger future Greenland ice loss

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:40
Predictions of Greenland ice loss and its impact on rising sea levels may have been greatly underestimated. Supraglacial lakes are darker than ice, so they absorb more of the Sun's heat, which leads to increased melting. When the lakes reach a critical size, they drain through ice fractures, allowing water to reach the ice sheet base which causes it to slide more quickly into the oceans. These changes can also trigger further melting.

No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide rose at end of last ice age

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 12:13
Nitrous oxide is an important greenhouse gas that doesn't receive as much notoriety as carbon dioxide or methane, but a new study confirms that atmospheric levels of N2O rose significantly as the Earth came out of the last ice age and addresses the cause.

Ancient creature discovered in the depths of the Arctic Ocean

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:43
An extraordinary animal has been discovered more than 1.5 miles (2.5 km) below the ocean surface off the coast of northern Alaska, USA. The new species is a type of bivalve mollusk (clams, mussels, oysters etc.). Age estimates place the new clam as living more than 1.8 million years ago to the near present, but scientists can't discount that it might still be alive today.

Looking at El Niño's past to predict its future

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 10:40
Scientists see a large amount of variability in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) when looking back at climate records from thousands of years ago. Without a clear understanding of what caused past changes in ENSO variability, predicting the climate phenomenon's future is a difficult task. A new study shows how this climate system responds to various pressures, such as changes in carbon dioxide and ice cover, in one of the best models used to project future climate change.

Greenhouse gases linked to African rainfall

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 13:31
Scientists may have solved a long-standing enigma known as the African Humid Period -- an intense increase in cumulative rainfall in parts of Africa that began after a long dry spell following the end of the last ice age and lasting nearly 10,000 years. It has been linked to greenhouse gas concentrations.

Antarctica: Heat comes from the deep

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 13:26
The water temperatures on the West Antarctic shelf are rising. The reason for this is predominantly warm water from greater depths, which as a result of global change now increasingly reaches the shallow shelf. There it has the potential to accelerate the glacier melt from below and trigger the sliding of big glaciers.

Carbon dioxide warming effects felt just a decade after being emitted

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 07:43
It takes just 10 years for a single emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) to have its maximum warming effects on the Earth. This is according to researchers who have dispelled a common misconception that the main warming effects from a CO2 emission will not be felt for several decades.

West Antarctic melt rate has tripled in last decade

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 17:33
A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade.

Meteorology meets metrology: Climate research high up in the clouds

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 07:23
Barely has the research aircraft HALO entered the kilometer-high clouds towering above the Brazilian rainforest than the researchers find themselves in a complete haze, but they can rely on the measuring instruments that are working at full capacity. HAI – a new, highly accurate hygrometer – is aboard. The shooting star among hygrometers has been developed only recently by metrologists (metrology = the science of measurement) especially for use on board aircraft and in the clouds, but it has already been used in four research campaigns and has already clocked up more than 300 hours of active use. It is the only device worldwide that can determine precisely and simultaneously how much of the water present in the atmosphere is in the form of vapour, condensation, droplets or ice.

Most ancient pinworm yet found was infected with parasitic nematodes

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 15:33
Discovery of 240 million-year-old pinworm egg confirms that herbivorous cynodonts -- the ancestors of mammals -- were infected with the parasitic nematodes.

American mastodons made warm Arctic, subarctic temporary home 125,000 years ago: Local extinction long before human colonization

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 15:32
Existing age estimates of American mastodon fossils indicate that these extinct relatives of elephants lived in the Arctic and Subarctic when the area was covered by ice caps -- a chronology that is at odds with what scientists know about the massive animals' preferred habitat: forests and wetlands abundant with leafy food. Now, scientists are revising fossil age estimates and suggesting that the north was only a temporary home to mastodons when the climate was warm.

Emergence of modern sea ice in Arctic Ocean, 2.6 million years ago

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 07:06
The extent of sea ice cover in Arctic was much less than it is today between four and five million years ago. The maximum winter extent did not reaching its current location until around 2.6 million years ago. "We have not seen an ice free period in the Arctic Ocean for 2,6 million years. However, we may see it in our lifetime." says a marine geologist.

Arctic conditions may become critical for polar bears by end of 21st century

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 13:42
Shifts in the timing and duration of ice cover, especially the possible lengthening of ice-free periods, may impact polar bears under projected warming before the end of the 21st century, experts say.

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change: Effect of waves

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 19:54
New research is helping pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating. Scientists report the first laboratory experiments testing theoretical models of wave activity in frozen oceans.

Underwater robot sheds new light on thick, deformed, Antarctic sea ice

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 11:53
The first detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice have been developed using an underwater robot. Scientists say the new technology provides accurate ice thickness measurements from areas that were previously too difficult to access.

Time-lapse photos and synched weather data unlock Antarctic secrets

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 17:36
Researchers are using time-lapse photography, linked to weather data, to study climate and geological change in the Antarctic Dry Valleys.

Salinity counts when it comes to sea level

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:34
Using ocean observations and a large suite of climate models, scientists have found that long-term salinity changes have a stronger influence on regional sea level changes than previously thought.