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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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A warm climate is more sensitive to changes in carbon dioxide

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 14:33
It is well-established in the scientific community that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels result in global warming, but the magnitude of the effect may vary depending on average global temperature. A new study concludes that warm climates are more sensitive to changes in CO2 levels than cold climates.

Thawing ice makes the Alps grow

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 07:58
The Alps are steadily "growing" by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement. This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth's surface diminished. Now, an international team of researchers has been able to show that the loss of the LGM ice cap still accounts for 90 percent of today's uplifting of the Alps.

The global climate 2011-2015: Hottest five-year period on record

Tue, 11/08/2016 - 11:27
The World Meteorological Organization has published a detailed analysis of the global climate 2011-2015 -- the hottest five-year period on record -- and the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.

How each one of us contribute to Arctic sea ice melt

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 13:57
Measurements reveal the relationship between individual CO2 emissions and the Arctic's shrinking summer sea ice. For each ton of carbon dioxide that any person on our planet emits, three square metres of Arctic summer sea ice disappear.

The destructive effects of supercooled liquid water on airplane safety and climate models

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 09:25
Exploring the properties of supercooled liquid water - the bane of airplane wings and climate theorists - investigators are mounting an expedition to fly huge tethered balloons in Alaska this coming winter, where temperatures descend to 40 degrees below zero and it’s dark as a dungeon for all but a few hours of the day.

Algal fat opens window to past Arctic temperatures

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 09:20
A new paper uses alkenones from the Svalbard islands and is among the first studies that present Arctic summer temperature change over the period from the end of the last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago. Its results show a large range of natural summer temperature variability and identify distinct phases of rapid change. 

Will temperature extremes increase in Northeast Asia?

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 12:00
Scientists are examining the drivers and physical processes behind abrupt summer warming and changes in temperature extremes over Northeast Asia since the mid-1990s.

Safe navigation through the Northwest Passage

Thu, 11/03/2016 - 08:09
The Northwest Passage is becoming navigable for longer periods of the year. Ship traffic, however, still bears hazardous risks. A German-Canadian research team wants to change that: it is conducting the preparatory work for a safe navigation through the icy waters.

Bioluminescence breakthrough in the Arctic

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 07:03
100 feet below the surface of the ocean is a critical depth for ecological activity in the Arctic polar night -- a period of near continuous winter darkness. There, atmospheric light diminishes and bioluminescence from marine organisms becomes the dominant light source.

Losing its cool: Will ice melt heat up naval operations in Arctic Ocean?

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 10:16
As diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean expands navigable waters, scientists have traveled to the region to study the changing environment—and provide new tools to help the U.S. Navy operate in a once-inaccessible area.

See how Arctic sea ice is losing its bulwark against warming summers

Fri, 10/28/2016 - 15:19
Arctic sea ice, the vast sheath of frozen seawater floating on the Arctic Ocean and its neighboring seas, has been hit with a double whammy over the past decades: as its extent shrunk, the oldest and thickest ice has either thinned or melted away, leaving the sea ice cap more vulnerable to the warming ocean and atmosphere.

Neanderthals on cold steppes also ate plants

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 08:41
Neanderthals in cold regions probably ate a lot more vegetable food than was previously thought, according to new research on ancient Neanderthal dental plaque.

Arctic found to play unexpectedly large role in removing nitrogen

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 09:45
Areas of the Arctic play a larger role than previously thought in the global nitrogen cycle—the process responsible for keeping a critical element necessary for life flowing between the atmosphere, the land and oceans.

Extreme cold winters fuelled by jet stream and climate change

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 07:15
Scientists agree for first time that climate change may be intensifying the effects of the jet stream, causing extreme cold weather in the UK and US. Their study could improve long-term forecasting of winter weather in most populous parts of the world, offering more accurate forecasting to help communities, businesses and economies prepare for severe weather and make life and cost-saving decisions.

Why does our planet experience an ice age every 100,000 years?

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 07:15
Experts have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years.

Species speed up adaptation to beat effects of warmer oceans

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 19:16
Some fish species are adapting to survive environmental changes without significant genetic evolution, according to new research.

Accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica documented

Tue, 10/25/2016 - 10:33
Two new studies have found the fastest ongoing rates of glacier retreat ever observed in West Antarctica and offer an unprecedented look at ice melting on the floating undersides of glaciers. The results highlight how the interaction between ocean conditions and the bedrock beneath a glacier can influence the frozen mass, helping scientists better predict future Antarctica ice loss and global sea level rise.

Atom-by-atom growth chart for shells helps decode past climate

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 16:06
For the first time scientists can see how the shells of tiny marine organisms grow atom-by-atom, a new study reports. The advance provides new insights into the mechanisms of biomineralization and will improve our understanding of environmental change in Earth's past.

What the ancient carbon dioxide record may mean for future climate change

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 12:34
Scientists have reconstructed the ancient atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) record from about 300 million years ago. Their study reveals previously unknown fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 at levels projected for current century, they say. It also highlights the potential impact the loss of tropical forests can have on climate.

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

Mon, 10/24/2016 - 12:28
Low-frequency vibrations of the Ross Ice Shelf are likely causing ripples and undulations in the air above Antarctica, a new study finds. Using mathematical models of the ice shelf, the study's authors show how vibrations in the ice match those seen in the atmosphere, and are likely causing these mysterious atmospheric waves.