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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 47 min 38 sec ago

Why a warmer world may equal a wetter Arctic

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 12:52
As the Arctic warms, it's predicted to get wetter. But why? A new study looks to history for answers, examining what happened in the region during a period of warming some 8,000 years ago. The research finds evidence that in this ancient time, western Greenland became more humid, a trend often linked to increased precipitation. The study further shows that two different climactic processes may have contributed to this elevated humidity.

K-core is a predictor of structural collapse in mutualistic ecosystems

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 12:59
A network metric called the K-core could predict structural collapse in mutualistic ecosystems, according to new research. The K-core appears able to forecast which species is likely to face extinction first, by global shocks such as climate change, and when an ecosystem could collapse due to external forces.

Ice-age climate clues unearthed

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 15:36
Scientist are working to improve climate models using paleoclimate proxies, indicators like chemical compounds in plants and microorganisms preserved in ancient lake sediments that hold rich data about past climate conditions on Earth.

Oldest weapons ever discovered in North America pre-date Clovis

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 13:55
Researchers have discovered what are believed to be the oldest weapons ever found in North America: ancient spear points that are 15,500 years old. The findings raise new questions about the settlement of early peoples on the continent.

Climate change: US desert areas to become even drier

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 13:26
Geologists study rainfall patterns in the distant past to better understand how deserts in the southwest United States will be impacted by future climate change.

Investigating glaciers in depth

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:53
Global sea level is rising constantly. One factor contributing to this rise is the melting of the glaciers. However, although the surface area of the glaciers has been well mapped, there is often no information regarding their thickness, making it impossible to calculate their volume. As a result, we cannot accurately calculate the effects on sea levels. Researchers have developed an approach which can be used to draw up regional ice thickness maps for glaciers.

Web-based open source dashboard of North Pole

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 07:58
It's called ArcCI (or Arctic CyberInfrastructure) and promises to combine the thousands of images that have been taken along the years of the Arctic Ocean into one global database that will help scientists and the world see the physical changes occurring in the region including ice loss. The hope is that this web-based repository will allow researchers to spend more time analyzing information rather than just collecting and processing data.

Earth’s inner core is solid, 'J waves' suggest

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 12:51
A new study could help us understand how our planet was formed. Scientists report that their research shows that Earth's inner core is solid -- a finding made possible by a new method for detecting shear waves, or 'J waves' in the inner core.

Life on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, with rigor and in detail

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 13:10
In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities.

Arctic ice sets speed limit for major ocean current

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 13:09
Scientists have now identified a key mechanism, which they call the 'ice-ocean governor,' that controls how fast the Beaufort Gyre spins and how much fresh water it stores. Researchers report that the Arctic's ice cover essentially sets a speed limit on the gyre's spin.

Antarctic ice shelf 'sings' as winds whip across its surface

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 14:06
Winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf cause the massive ice slab's surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant set of seismic 'tones' scientists could potentially use to monitor changes in the ice shelf from afar, according to new research.

Climate models fail to simulate recent air-pressure changes over Greenland

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 12:20
Climatologists may be unable to accurately predict regional climate change over the North Atlantic because computer simulations have failed to include real data from the Greenland region over the last three decades -- and it could lead to regional climate predictions for the UK and parts of Europe being inaccurate.

Arctic sea ice decline driving ocean phytoplankton farther north

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 13:15
A new study reveals phytoplankton spring blooms in the Arctic Ocean, which were previously nonexistent, are expanding northward at a rate of one degree of latitude per decade. Although blooms did not previously occur in this area, phytoplankton were present in the Arctic's central basin at low biomass. The study also found the primary productivity of the phytoplankton, or the rate at which phytoplankton convert sunlight into chemical energy, is increasing during the spring blooms.

Scientists find missing piece in glacier melt predictions

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:05
A new method for observing water within ice has revealed stored meltwater that may explain the complex flow behavior of some Greenland glaciers, an important component for predicting sea-level rise in a changing climate.

Does climate vary more from century to century when it is warmer?

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 07:26
Century-scale climate variability was enhanced when the Earth was warmer during the Last Interglacial period (129,000-116,000 years ago) compared to the current interglacial (the last 11,700 years), according to a new study.

City of Koh Ker was occupied for centuries longer than previously thought

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 13:17
The classic account of the ancient city of Koh Ker is one of a briefly-occupied and abruptly-abandoned region, but in reality, the area may have been occupied for several centuries beyond what is traditionally acknowledged, according to a new study.

Changes in polar jet circulation bring more dust from Sahara Desert to the Arctic

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 09:56
Poleward transport of warm, moist, and dust-laden air masses from the Sahara Desert results in ice melting in southeast Greenland, scientists have found.

Reconstructing human history with the help of fecal sterols

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 09:55
The story of human presence on Earth can be told by studying the sediment and soil accumulation of these chemical compounds in human feces.

Polar bears gorged on whales to survive past warm periods; won't suffice as climate warms

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 16:56
A new study found that while dead whales are valuable sources of fat and protein for some polar bears, this resource will likely not be enough to sustain most bear populations in the future when the Arctic becomes ice-free in summers.

Rapid, widespread changes may be coming to Antarctica's Dry Valleys

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 12:58
Antarctica's sandy polar desert, the McMurdo Dry Valleys, has undergone changes over the past decade and the recent discovery of thawing permafrost, thinning glaciers and melting ground ice by a research team are signs that rapid and widespread change could be on the horizon.