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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 14 min 36 sec ago

Scientists peg Anthropocene to first farmers

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 13:35
A new analysis of the fossil record shows that a deep pattern in the structure of plant and animal communities remained the same for 300 million years. Then, 6,000 years ago, the pattern was disrupted--at about the same time that people started farming in North America and populations rose. The research suggests that humans were the cause of this profound change in nature.

Climate change rapidly warming world's lakes

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 16:45
Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a study spanning six continents. The study is the largest of its kind and the first to use a combination of satellite temperature data and long-term ground measurements. A total of 235 lakes, representing more than half of the world's freshwater supply, were monitored for at least 25 years.

Fewer landslides than expected after 2015 Nepal earthquake

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 15:22
Fewer landslides resulted from the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake than expected. In addition, no large floods from overflowing glacial lakes occurred after the magnitude 7.8 quake, which struck near the town of Gorkha, Nepal on April 25, 2015. The pattern of where the landslides occurred was unexpected.

New light shed on lake evaporation under changing climate

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 13:05
For the first time, scientists have shown how winds blowing across lakes affect the chemical makeup of water vapor above and evaporated from lakes, which may aid research into past and present water cycles under changing climate.

Tiny phytoplankton have big influence on climate change

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:59
Researchers have investigated what climate models have to say about how phytoplankton and ocean ecosystems will respond to the profound changes that Earth is undergoing.

Greenland Ice Sheet during the 20th Century -- a missing link in IPCC's climate report

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 12:44
For the first time, climate an international team of researchers has published their direct observations of the reduction and melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the latest 110 years. The observation-based results close a gap in IPCC's estimate of global sea level budget.

Northern Alaska: North Slope permafrost thawing sooner than expected

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 17:59
New projections of permafrost change in northern Alaska suggest far-reaching effects will come sooner than expected, scientists report.

East Antarctic Ice Sheet has stayed frozen for 14 million years, team reports

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 15:06
Researchers used an innovative technique to date one of Antarctica's ancient lake deposits. They found that the deposits have remained frozen for at least the last 14 million years, suggesting that the surrounding region, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, or EAIS, has likewise remained intact.

Seal tagging improves ocean forecasts

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 15:04
Data from animal-borne sensors, including seal tags, can help scientists produce analyses and forecasts of ocean temperature and salinity, according to a new study.

Current climate models misrepresent El Niño, study suggests

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 12:47
Climate models incorrectly predict El Niño, according to a new study. An analysis of fossil corals and mollusk shells from the Pacific Ocean reveals there is no link between the strength of seasonal differences and El Niño, a complex but irregular climate pattern with large impacts on weather, agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and air quality worldwide.

Three miles high: Using drones to study high-altitude glaciers

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 12:45
While some dream of the day that aerial drones deliver their online purchases, scientists are using the technology today to deliver data that was never available before. About 5,000 meters high in the Peruvian Andes, the scientists are mapping glaciers and wetlands in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range with 10-centimeter precision to gauge how climate change will affect the half-million local residents who rely in part on those glaciers for their water supply.

Warmer air and sea, declining ice continue to trigger Arctic change

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 12:45
A new report shows that air temperature in 2015 across the Arctic was well above average with temperature anomalies over land more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit above average, the highest since records began in 1900. Increasing air and sea surface temperatures, decreasing sea ice extent and Greenland ice sheet mass, and changing behavior of fish and walrus are among key observations.

Earth's tilt influences climate change

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 13:20
Paleoclimatologists have shed new light on how the tilt of the Earth affects the world's heaviest rainbelt. They analyzed data from the past 282,000 years that shows, for the first time, a connection between the Earth's tilt called obliquity that shifts every 41,000 years, and the movement of a low pressure band of clouds that is the Earth's largest source of heat and moisture -- the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ.

Climate research using lasers and water pipes

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 08:30
Global warming is disturbing the delicate balance of the ocean currents. Petroleum and climate researchers are now working together to try and understand what is happening beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rapid Arctic warming drives shifts in marine mammals

Mon, 12/14/2015 - 08:27
New hydrophone surveys of migration gateways to the Arctic show that recent extremes in sea ice loss has opened new waters to humpback and fin whales that once ranged through the far north only in summer. And as climate change drives the ice into further retreat, such 'summer' species may begin competing with bowhead whales that once had the habitat to themselves.

The days are getting longer

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 13:50
Scientists are studying past changes in sea level in order to make accurate future predictions of this consequence of climate change, and they're looking down to Earth's core to do so. 'In order to fully understand the sea-level change that has occurred in the past century, we need to understand the dynamics of the flow in Earth's core' says one of the researchers.

Volcanic event caused ice age during Jurassic Period

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 11:44
Pioneering new research has shed new light on the causes behind an 'ice-age' that took place on Earth around 170 million years ago.

Fossils reveal ancient shrublands in fiery landscape

Thu, 12/10/2015 - 02:23
New fossil evidence shows that Australia’s fire-prone shrubland open vegetation originated at least 70 million years ago – 40-50 million years earlier than previously thought.

Inexpensive device for cookstoves shows promise for decreasing global warming, saving lives

Wed, 12/09/2015 - 09:56
A new metal grate will improve efficiency of primitive wood-burning cookstoves in developing countries.

New method to predict sea ice changes years in advance

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 12:46
Climate scientists present evidence in a new study that they can predict whether the Arctic sea ice that forms in the winter will grow, shrink, or hold its own over the next several years.