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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 22 min 33 sec ago

Massive amounts of fresh water, glacial melt pouring into Gulf of Alaska

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 15:55
Incessant mountain rain, snow and melting glaciers in a comparatively small region of land that hugs the southern Alaska coast and empties fresh water into the Gulf of Alaska would create the sixth largest coastal river in the world if it emerged as a single stream, a recent study shows. Freshwater runoff of this magnitude may play important ecological roles.

Geoengineering proposal may backfire: Ocean pipes 'not cool,' would end up warming climate

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 13:33
There are a variety of proposals that involve using vertical ocean pipes to move seawater to the surface from the depths in order to reap different potential climate benefits. One idea involves using ocean pipes to facilitate direct physical cooling of the surface ocean by replacing warm surface ocean waters with colder, deeper waters. New research shows that these pipes could actually increase global warming quite drastically.

First fine-scale genetic map of the British Isles

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 13:54
Many people in the UK feel a strong sense of regional identity, and it now appears that there may be a scientific basis to this feeling, according to a landmark new study into the genetic makeup of the British Isles.

First global review on the status, future of Arctic marine mammals

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:20
A multinational team surveys the status of all Arctic marine mammals, including whales, walruses, seals and polar bears. The report is a first effort to assess the status of 78 subpopulations and recommend measures to protect these species under climate change.

Winter hack: Textured rubber that grips slick, icy surfaces

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:19
Researchers from Canada are developing new methods to mass-produce a material that may help pedestrians get a better grip on slippery surfaces after such storms.

Coping with the anthropocene: How we became nature

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 08:30
Overpopulation, the greenhouse effect, warming temperatures and overall climate disruption are all well recognized as a major threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the Earth.  The issue of humankind's negative impact on the environment, albeit hotly debated and continuously present in the public eye, still only leads to limited policy action.

Climate change: Scientist investigates changing sea levels

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 08:28
The sea level has been rising by an average of 3.1 millimeters a year since 1993. Long-term measurements recorded since the start of the 20th century indicate an acceleration in the averaged sea level change. Coastal flooding and land loss are just some of the potential consequences.

Green screen or smokescreen? Hollywood's messages about nature and the environment

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 08:28
A new study has revealed the dual and conflicting messages in commercial films for young audiences about pivotal environmental problems and their potential resolution.

Morning is the time for powerful lightning

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 17:54
Wherever you are, if it's 8 a.m. it’s time for the kids to be in school, time perhaps for a second cup of coffee, and time for the most powerful lightning strokes of the day. Not the largest number of lightning flashes, just the most powerful.

East Antarctica melting could be explained by oceanic gateways

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 17:39
Researchers have discovered two seafloor gateways that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica's largest and most rapidly thinning glacier. The discovery probably explains the glacier's extreme thinning and raises concerns about how it will affect sea level rise.

Past warming increased snowfall on Antarctica, affecting global sea level

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:54
A new study confirms that snowfall in Antarctica will increase significantly as the planet warms, offsetting future sea level rise from other sources -- but the effect will not be nearly as strong as many scientists previously anticipated because of other, physical processes.

Summer storm weakening leads to more persistent heat extremes

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 13:29
Storm activity in large parts of the US, Europe and Russia significantly calmed down during summers over the past decades, but this is no good news. The weakening of strong winds associated with the jetstream and weather systems prolongs and hence intensifies heat extremes like the one in Russia in 2010 which caused devastating crop failures and wildfires.

Epoch-defining study pinpoints when humans came to dominate planet Earth

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 15:04
The human-dominated geological epoch known as the Anthropocene probably began around the year 1610, with an unusual drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the irreversible exchange of species between the New and Old Worlds, according to new research.

Saturn moon's ocean may harbor hydrothermal activity, spacecraft data suggest

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 13:08
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first clear evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal activity which may resemble that seen in the deep oceans on Earth. The implications of such activity on a world other than our planet open up unprecedented scientific possibilities.

Blue blood on ice: How an Antarctic octopus survives the cold

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 19:57
An Antarctic octopus that lives in ice-cold water uses an unique strategy to transport oxygen in its blood, according to new research. The study suggests that the octopus's specialized blood pigments could help to make it more resilient to climate change than Antarctic fish and other species of octopus.

NASA's Soil Moisture Mapper takes first 'SMAPshots'

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:50
Fresh off the recent successful deployment of its 20-foot (6-meter) reflector antenna and associated boom arm, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments.

Same forces as today caused climate changes 1.4 billion years ago

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 11:33
Natural forces have always caused the climate on Earth to fluctuate. Now researchers have found geological evidence that some of the same forces as today were at play 1.4 billion years ago.

Friction means Antarctic glaciers more sensitive to climate change than we thought

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 09:52
A new study finds that incorporating Coulomb friction into computer models increases the sensitivity of Antarctic ice sheets to temperature perturbations driven by climate change.

Earth's climate is starting to change faster, new research shows

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:46
Earth is now entering a period of changing climate that will likely be faster than what's occurred naturally over the last thousand years, according to a new article, committing people to live through and adapt to a warming world.

Atmosphere above Africa: Clouds and aerosol measurements

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 12:28
From Saharan dust storms to icy clouds to smoke on the opposite side of the continent, the first image from NASA's newest cloud- and aerosol-measuring instrument, CATS, provides a profile of the atmosphere above Africa.