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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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Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:11
Although researchers have long known that the last two interglacial periods experienced warming in the Arctic due to changes in the Earth's orbit, a mix of fly species preserved from these times in a rare lake sediment core shows that Greenland was even warmer than previously thought. This information could help researchers better gauge Greenland's sensitivity to warming, by testing and improving models of climate and ice sheet behavior.

Long thought silent because of ice, study shows east Antarctica seismically active

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:26
Half of Antarctica has long thought to be seismically dormant, but a researcher tripled the number of recorded earthquakes by monitoring for just one year.

Earliest European evidence of lead pollution uncovered in the Balkans

Fri, 06/01/2018 - 15:04
New research has revealed that metal-related pollution began in the Balkans more than 500 years before it appeared in western Europe, and persisted throughout the Dark Ages and Medieval Period, meaning the region played a far bigger role in mineral exploitation than previously believed.

Rise and fall of the Great Barrier Reef

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 11:40
Study is first of its kind to reconstruct evolution of reef over 30,000 years in response to abrupt environmental change.

Phosphorus nutrition can hasten plant and microbe growth in arid, high elevation sites

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:43
Glacial retreat in cold, high-altitude ecosystems exposes environments that are extremely sensitive to phosphorus input, new research shows. The finding upends previous ecological assumptions, helps scientists understand plant and microbe responses to climate change and could expand scientists' understanding of the limits to life on Earth.

Dusty rainfall records reveal new understanding of Earth's long-term climate

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:45
Ancient rainfall records stretching 550,000 years into the past may upend scientists' understanding of what controls the Asian summer monsoon and other aspects of the Earth's long-term climate. Milankovitch theory says solar heating of the northernmost part of the globe drives the world's climate swings between ice ages and warmer periods. The new work turns Milankovitch in its head by suggesting climate is driven by differential heating of the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions.

For the past 70 years, the Danube has almost never frozen over

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 10:23
Since the 1950s, warmer and warmer winters and man-made inflows have largely prevented ice formation on Europe's second-largest river.

The gypsum gravity chute: A phytoplankton-elevator to the ocean floor

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:32
Tiny gypsum crystals can make phytoplankton so heavy that they rapidly sink, hereby transporting large quantities of carbon to the ocean's depths.

Ancient mound builders carefully timed their occupation of coastal Louisiana site

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:48
A new study of ancient mound builders who lived hundreds of years ago on the Mississippi River Delta near present-day New Orleans offers new insights into how Native peoples selected the landforms that supported their villages and earthen mounds -- and why these sites were later abandoned.

Scientists analyze first ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 13:26
Researchers have completed the first whole-genome analysis of ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia Study identifies at least three major waves of human migration into the region over the last 50,000 years, each shaping the genetics of Southeast Asia.

After 60 years, Isle Royale continues world's longest predator-prey study

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 09:23
The 2018 report is out: two wolves, almost 1,500 moose and an ecosystem in transition. In its 60th year, the research conducted at Isle Royale National Park is the longest running predator-prey study of its kind.

Major shifts in global freshwater

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:25
A new global, satellite-based study of Earth's freshwater found that Earth's wet areas are getting wetter, while dry areas are getting drier. The data suggest this pattern is due to many factors, including human water management practices, human-caused climate change and natural climate cycles.

Traditional knowledge sheds light on changing East Greenland climate and polar bear hunt

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:15
Inuit polar bear hunters in East Greenland report changes to their subsistence hunting patterns as well as polar bear distribution and behavior due to decreasing sea ice and the introduction of hunting quotas in 2006. The study is the first in nearly 20 years to document traditional knowledge in East Greenland -- providing a valuable baseline for monitoring future changes and the polar bear population.

Tiny satellite's first global map of ice clouds

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:35
Looking at Earth from the International Space Station, astronauts see big, white clouds spreading across the planet. They cannot distinguish a gray rain cloud from a puffy white cloud. While satellites can see through many clouds and estimate the liquid precipitation they hold, they can't see the smaller ice particles that create enormous rain clouds.

Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 09:56
Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica. Understanding more about how this water gets towards the ice shelves by measuring its temperature, salinity and depth, will help climate change modellers make more accurate predictions about how rapidly the Antarctic ice sheet is melting.

Lead pollution in Greenland ice shows rise and fall of ancient European civilizations

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 14:19
Scientists, historians and economists have used ice samples from the North Greenland Ice Core Project to measure, date and analyze European lead emissions that were captured in Greenland ice between 1100 BC and AD 800. Their results provide new insight for historians about how European civilizations and their economies fared over time.

Ice stream draining Greenland Ice Sheet sensitive to changes over past 45,000 years

Mon, 05/14/2018 - 07:39
A ribbon of ice more than 600 kilometers long that drains about 12 percent of the gigantic Greenland Ice Sheet has been smaller than it is today about half of the time over the past 45,000 years, a new study suggests.

Tiny fossils unlock clues to Earth's climate half a billion years ago

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 17:55
Scientists have quantified the temperature of Earth's oceans over half a billion years ago by combining fossil data and climate models.

The slipperiness of ice explained

Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:15
Everybody knows that sliding on ice or snow, is much easier than sliding on most other surfaces. But why is the ice surface slippery? Researchers have now shown that the slipperiness of ice is a consequence of the ease with which the topmost water molecules can roll over the ice surface.

Ediacara Biota flourished in bacterially rich marine habitats

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:36
Researchers have used biomarkers in ancient rocks to learn more about the environmental conditions and food sources that sustained the Ediacara Biota.