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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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Finding new homes won't help emperor penguins cope with climate change

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 14:12
Unlike other species that migrate successfully to escape the wrath of climate change, a new study shows that dispersal may help sustain global Emperor penguin populations for a limited time, but, as sea ice conditions continue to deteriorate, the 54 colonies that exist today will face devastating declines by the end of this century.

Domes of frozen methane may be warning signs for new blow-outs

Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:19
Several methane domes, some 500m wide, have been mapped on the Arctic Ocean floor. They may be signs of soon-to-happen methane expulsions that have previously created massive craters in a near-by area.

Antarctic ice rift close to calving, after growing 17km in 6 days, latest data from ice shelf shows

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 10:28
The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica has grown by 17km in the last few days and is now only 13km from the ice front, indicating that calving of an iceberg is probably very close, researchers revealed after studying satellite data. The rift is likely to lead to one of the largest icebergs ever recorded.

Massive craters formed by methane blow-outs from the Arctic sea floor

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 14:18
Hundreds of massive, kilometer-wide craters on the ocean floor in the Arctic were formed by substantial methane expulsions, new research explains.

Geoscientific evidence for subglacial lakes

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 07:22
During the last glacial period -- when the ice in the Antarctic was far thicker and extended further offshore than it does today -- it has been speculated that subglacial lakes existed beneath it. An international team of researchers has now successfully sampled the meter-thick sediment layers left behind by these lakes contemporary on the seafloor.

Human activity has polluted European air for 2,000 years

Wed, 05/31/2017 - 09:33
A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

Previously, on Arctic warming

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 13:48
Arctic warming occurred in the early 20th century due to the warming phases -- 'interdecadal variability mode' -- of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, suggests new research.

Death by volcano?

Tue, 05/30/2017 - 07:23
The discovery of anomalously high levels of mercury in rocks from the Ordivician geological period has led to a new interpretation of the ensuing mass extinction. A sequence of disturbances may have led to catastrophic cooling by reflective sulfate aerosols injected into the atmosphere by massive volcanism. The finding is important since aerosol cooling is under consideration as a way to temper global warming.

'Tiny clocks' crystallize understanding of meteorite crashes

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 13:37
Scientists are using new imaging techniques to measure the atomic nanostructure of ancient crystal fragments at meteorite impact sites. The end goal? To understand when impacts ended and life began.

Fossil beetles suggest that LA climate has been relatively stable for 50,000 years

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:11
Research based on more than 180 fossil insects preserved in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles indicate that the climate in what is now southern California has been relatively stable over the past 50,000 years.

Weathering of rocks a poor regulator of global temperatures

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:20
Evidence from the age of the dinosaurs to today shows that chemical weathering of rocks is less sensitive to global temperature, and may depend on the steepness of the surface. The results call into question the role of rocks in setting our planet's temperature over millions of years.

Antarctic has seen widespread change in last 50 years, moss study reveals

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 13:03
In 2013, researchers studying mosses and microbes growing at the southern end of the Antarctic Peninsula documented unprecedented ecological change over the last 50 years, driven by warming temperatures. Now, the same research group has confirmed that those striking changes in the Antarctic are widespread, occurring all across the Peninsula.

A recipe for concrete that can withstand road salt deterioration

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:41
Engineers have known for some time that calcium chloride salt, commonly used as deicer, reacts with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form a chemical byproduct that causes roadways to crumble. A civil engineer is working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces, that can hold its own against the forces of chemical erosion.

Temperatures in the Arctic are

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 07:30
Temperatures in the Arctic are increasing twice as fast as in the rest of the globe, while the Antarctic is warming at a much slower rate. A new study shows that land height could be a 'game changer' when it comes to explaining why temperatures are rising at such different rates in the two regions.

Earth's atmosphere more chemically reactive in cold climates

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:26
A Greenland ice core providing a first glimpse at the history of reactive oxidants shows that for big temperature swings in the past 100,000 years, reactive oxidants are actually higher in cold climates. This means that new mechanisms -- not just water vapor, plant and soil emissions -- must affect the concentration of ozone and other oxidants in the atmosphere.

Porewater salinity: Key to reconstructing 250,000 years of Lake Van’s history

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 08:11
The sediments of Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia (Turkey) are a valuable climate archive. Now, using the salinity measured in sediment porewater, scientists have reconstructed the huge lake-level fluctuations that occurred over the past 250,000 years. This approach – based on simple physical concepts – is likely to be more widely applied in the future.

NASA's EPIC view spots flashes on Earth

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:30
One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet.

Saying goodbye to glaciers

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 13:19
Glaciers around the world are disappearing before our eyes, and the implications for people are wide-ranging and troubling, a glacier expert concludes in a new study.

Teleconnection between the tropical Pacific and Antarctica

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 08:50
The higher the seawater temperature in the tropical Pacific, the more likely ice breakup will occur in East Antarctica, according to researchers.

Irreversible ocean warming threatens the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 08:50
By the second half of this century, rising air temperatures above the Weddell Sea could set off a self-amplifying meltwater feedback cycle under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, ultimately causing the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic to shrink dramatically.