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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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Air temperatures in the Arctic are driving system change

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 07:02
A new paper shows that air temperature is the 'smoking gun' behind climate change in the Arctic.

Large Antarctic Ice Shelf, home to a UK research station, is about to break apart

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 11:43
Glaciology experts have issued evidence that a large section of the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica, which is home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station, is about break off. The iceberg, measuring over 1,500 square kilometers -- which is twice the size of New York City -- is expected to break away from the Brunt Ice Shelf within the next few months.

Researchers uncover hidden deicer risks affecting bridge health

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 15:09
Common magnesium chloride deicers used on roadways and bridges around the U.S. may be doing more damage than previously thought, researchers have found.

More CO2 than ever before in 3 million years, shows unprecedented computer simulation

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 14:54
CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely higher today than ever before in the past 3 million years. During this time, global mean temperatures never exceeded the preindustrial levels by more than 2°C. The study is based on breakthrough computer simulations of ice age onset in Earth's past climate.

Beware a glacier's tongue

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:30
Glaciers extending into freshwater lakes can form long, submerged terraces that menacingly rise above the surface when icy chunks fall into the water.

The Transpolar Drift is faltering: Sea ice is now melting before it can leave the nursery

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 07:15
The dramatic loss of ice in the Arctic is influencing sea-ice transport across the Arctic Ocean. Today only 20 percent of the sea ice that forms in the shallow Russian marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean actually reaches the Central Arctic, where it joins the Transpolar Drift; the remaining 80 percent of the young ice melts before it has a chance to leave its 'nursery.'

In ancient oceans that resembled our own, oxygen loss triggered mass extinction

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 09:26
Researchers provide first conclusive evidence linking widespread ocean oxygen loss and rising sea levels to a 430-million-year-old mass extinction event.

Arctic warming contributes to drought

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 15:12
According to new research, changes similar to those after the ice age 10,000 years ago could be in store today because a warming Arctic weakens the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. This, in turn, results in less precipitation, weaker cyclones and weaker mid-latitude westerly wind flow -- a recipe for prolonged drought.

Massive earthquakes provide new insight into deep Earth

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:27
In a first-ever study of two of the largest deep earthquakes ever recorded in human history, researchers reveal new and surprising information about our planet's mysterious, ever-changing interior.

Cold water currently slowing fastest Greenland glacier

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 10:35
NASA research shows that Jakobshavn Glacier, which has been Greenland's fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the last 20 years, has made an unexpected about-face. The glacier is still adding to global sea level rise, but at a slower rate.

Researchers unveil effects of dust particles on cloud properties

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:20
Scientists have generated significant findings that highlight the impact of high-latitude dusts on the conversion of clouds' water droplets to ice -- or glaciation -- within low-level clouds in the Arctic region. These results contribute to a better understanding of factors at the land surface and how they affect cloud formations.

Antarctic snowfall dominated by a few extreme snowstorms

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:20
A new study reveals the importance of a small number of intense storms around Antarctica in controlling the amount of snow falling across the continent.

Clouds have moderated warming triggered by climate change

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 11:04
Researchers have analyzed information contained in the rings of ancient pine trees from northern Scandinavia to reveal how clouds have reduced the impact of natural phases of warmth in the past and are doing so again now to moderate the warming caused by anthropogenic climate change.

Tall ice-cliffs may trigger big calving events -- and fast sea-level rise

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:33
Glaciers that drain ice sheets such as Antarctica or Greenland often flow into the ocean, ending in near-vertical cliffs. As the glacier flows into the sea, chunks of the ice break off in calving events. Although much calving occurs when the ocean melts the front of the ice, and ice cliff above falls down, a new study presents another method of calving: slumping. And this process could break off much larger chunks of ice at a quicker rate.

Research investigates impact of climate change on glacier-fed rivers in Peru

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 09:28
Remote communities in the Peruvian Andes, as well as communities downstream, depend on the water from melting glaciers and mountain ecosystems to provide them with food and power, and to support industry.

The inbis channel: The most complete submarine cartography

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:11
A scientific study describes for the first time the submarine cartography of a high-latitude system in the IBIS channel, which covers tens of kilometers in the northern western area of the Barents Sea, in the Arctic Ocean. This channel is one of the few submarine valleys in polar latitudes that kept its geological architecture during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

Arctic sea ice 2019 wintertime extent is seventh lowest

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 13:11
Sea ice in the Arctic appears to have hit its annual maximum extent after growing through the fall and winter. The 2019 wintertime extent reached on March 13 ties with 2007's as the 7th smallest extent of winter sea ice in the satellite record, according to scientists.

Biodiversity patterns in Antarctic Dry Valleys

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:21
'Surprisingly, we found that biotic, or living, interactions are crucial in shaping biodiversity patterns even in the extreme ecosystems of the Antarctic Dry Valleys.'

US indoor climate most similar to northeast African outdoors

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 10:21
Americans are most comfortable when their indoor climate is like the northeast African outdoors -- warm and relatively dry.

Changes in ocean 'conveyor belt' foretold abrupt climate changes by four centuries

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 09:21
In the Atlantic Ocean, a giant 'conveyor belt' carries warm waters from the tropics into the North Atlantic, where they cool and sink and then return southwards in the deep ocean. This circulation pattern is an important player in the global climate. Evidence increasingly suggests that this system is slowing down, and some scientists fear it could have major effects. A new study provides insight into how quickly such changes could take effect if the system continues weakening.