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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago

A jigsaw puzzle made of ancient dust

Mon, 11/09/2020 - 10:02
During the last Ice Age about 20,000 years ago, iron-containing dust acted as a fertilizer for marine phytoplankton in the South Pacific, promoting carbon dioxide sequestration and thus the glacial cooling of the Earth. But where did the dust come from?

Rivers melt Arctic ice, warming air and ocean

Sat, 11/07/2020 - 12:39
A new study shows that increased heat from Arctic rivers is melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and warming the atmosphere.

Mystery of glacial lake floods solved

Sat, 11/07/2020 - 12:39
A long-standing mystery in the study of glaciers was recently and serendipitously solved. A trigger was identified for some of the largest floods on Earth -- those emerging suddenly and unpredictably from beneath glaciers or ice caps.

After election: Making the endangered species act more effective

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 17:38
Following the presidential election, a leading group of scientists are making the case that a 'rule reversal' will not be sufficient to allow the Endangered Species Act to do its job. Instead, they're calling for deeper improvements to the rules federal wildlife agencies use to apply the law -- aiming to make the Act more effective and to gain bipartisan and industry support in an era of accelerating climate change.

Past is key to predicting future climate, scientists say

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 17:38
A group of climate experts make the case for including paleoclimate data in the development of climate models. Such models are used globally to assess the impacts of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, predict scenarios for future climate and propose strategies for mitigation.

The burning question of Bonfire Night pollution

Thu, 11/05/2020 - 07:37
Bonfire Night celebrations contaminate our air with 100 times more soot than usual. The particles, also known as black carbon are so small, they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause irritation. Long term exposure can cause harmful effects on the heart and lungs and contributes to millions of deaths worldwide each year.

Brown carbon 'tarballs' detected in Himalayan atmosphere

Wed, 11/04/2020 - 07:30
Some people refer to the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau as the 'third pole' because the region has the largest reserve of glacial snow and ice outside of the north and south poles. The glaciers, which are extremely sensitive to climate change and human influence, have been retreating over the past decade. Now, researchers have detected light-absorbing 'tarballs' in the Himalayan atmosphere, which could contribute to glacial melt.

Consequences of glacier shrinkage

Mon, 11/02/2020 - 11:49
Scientists have investigated the causes of a glacial lake outburst flood in the Ladakh region of India. They drew on field surveys and satellite images to create an inventory of glacial lakes for the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, identifying changes in the size and number of glacial lakes, including undocumented outburst floods. The inventory aims to improve risk assessment for future events.

Expect more mega-droughts

Fri, 10/30/2020 - 10:18
Mega-droughts - droughts that last two decades or longer - are tipped to increase thanks to climate change, according to new research.

Resilience in the face of climate change: Archaeological investigations reveal human adaptability in ancient Turkey

Thu, 10/29/2020 - 16:16
An examination of two documented periods of climate change in the greater Middle East, between approximately 4,500 and 3,000 years ago, reveals local evidence of resilience and even of a flourishing ancient society despite the changes in climate seen in the larger region. The study demonstrates that human responses to climate change vary at the local level, and highlights how challenge and collapse in some areas were matched by resilience and opportunities elsewhere.

Coastal Greenland reshaped as Greenland ice sheet mass loss accelerates

Tue, 10/27/2020 - 18:24
Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated significantly over the past two decades, transforming the shape of the ice sheet edge and therefore coastal Greenland.

Hurricanes pack a bigger punch for Florida's west coast

Tue, 10/27/2020 - 18:24
Hurricanes, the United States' deadliest and most destructive weather disasters, are notoriously difficult to predict. With the average storm intensity as well as the proportion of storms that reach category 4 or 5 likely to increase, more accurate predictions of future hurricane impacts could help emergency officials and coastal populations better prepare for such storms -- and ultimately, save lives.

Ice loss due to warming leads to warming due to ice loss: a vicious circle

Tue, 10/27/2020 - 12:37
The loss of huge ice masses can contribute to the warming that is causing this loss and further risks. A new study now quantifies this feedback by exploring long-term if-then-scenarios.

Irregular appearances of glacial and interglacial climate states

Mon, 10/26/2020 - 08:54
A researcher has now discovered that the irregular appearance of interglacials has been more frequent than previously thought. His study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Earth's fundamental climate changes.

Coastal permafrost more susceptible to climate change than previously thought

Fri, 10/23/2020 - 13:10
Research has found permafrost to be mostly absent throughout the shallow seafloor along a coastal field site in northeastern Alaska. That means carbon can be released from coastline sources much more easily than previously thought.

Ancient Maya built sophisticated water filters

Thu, 10/22/2020 - 14:17
Ancient Maya in the once-bustling city of Tikal built sophisticated water filters using natural materials they imported from miles away, according to new research. A multidisciplinary team of anthropologists, geographers and biologists identified quartz and zeolite, a crystalline compound consisting of silicon and aluminum, that created a natural molecular sieve. Both minerals are used in modern water filtration.

Ice loss likely to continue in Antarctica, even if climate change is brought under control, study finds

Thu, 10/22/2020 - 07:33
A new study has revealed that ice loss in Antarctica persisted for many centuries after it was initiated and is expected to continue.

New sediment archive for historical climate research

Wed, 10/21/2020 - 10:23
Geological investigations of low-temperature young deposits on the Styrian Erzberg provide paleoclimatology with new data on the Earth's history and its development.

Lost and found: Geologists 'resurrect' missing tectonic plate

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:14
A team of geologists believes they have found the lost plate known as Resurrection in northern Canada by using existing mantle tomography images.

Declines in shellfish species on rocky seashores match climate-driven changes

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 07:17
Mussels, barnacles, and snails are declining in the Gulf of Maine, according to a new article by biologists. Their 20-year dataset reveals that the populations' steady dwindling matches up with the effects of climate change on the region.