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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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Ice-age lesson: Large mammals need room to roam

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 17:42
A study of life and extinctions among woolly mammoths and other ice-age animals suggests that interconnected habitats can help Arctic mammal species survive environmental changes.

Local destabilization can cause complete loss of West Antarctica's ice masses

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 15:36
A full discharge of ice into the ocean is calculated to yield about 3 meters of sea-level rise. Recent studies indicated that this area of the ice continent is already losing stability, making it the first element in the climate system about to tip. The new publication for the first time shows the inevitable consequence of such an event. According to the computer simulations, a few decades of ocean warming can start an ice loss that continues for centuries or even millennia.

Less ice, more water in Arctic Ocean by 2050s

Mon, 11/02/2015 - 14:25
By the 2050s, parts of the Arctic Ocean once covered by sea ice much of the year will see at least 60 days a year of open water, according to a new modeling study.

Arctic snow not darkening due to soot, dust

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:05
A new study shows that degrading satellite sensors, not soot or dust, are responsible for the apparent decline in reflectivity of inland ice across northern Greenland.

Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:05
A new study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

Large igneous provinces linked to extinction events

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 11:45
Mass extinction events are sometimes portrayed in illustrations of volcanic eruptions causing widespread destruction. According to experts this interpretation may have some truth behind it, but not in the instantaneous way we might think.

Solving 80-year-old mystery, chemist discovers way to isolate single-crystal ice surfaces

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 11:44
A chemist has discovered a way to select specific surfaces of single-crystal ice for study, a long-sought breakthrough that could help researchers answer essential questions about climate and the environment.

Land-facing, southwest Greenland Ice Sheet movement decreasing

Thu, 10/29/2015 - 09:23
In the face of decades of increasing temperatures and surface melting, the movement of the southwest portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet that terminates on land has been slowing down, according to a new study.

Nordic Seas cooled 500,000 years before global oceans

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 07:49
The cooling of the Nordic Seas towards modern temperatures started in the early Pliocene, half a million years before the global oceans cooled. A new study of fossil marine plankton demonstrates this.

Climate change threatens survival of common lizards

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:21
While there is no doubt that climate change is affecting many organisms, some species might be more sensitive than others. Reptiles, whose body temperature depends directly on environmental temperature, may be particularly vulnerable. Scientists have now shown experimentally that lizards cope very poorly with the climate predicted for the year 2100.

Ancient babies boost Bering land bridge layover

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:17
Scientists deciphered maternal genetic material from two babies buried together in Alaska 11,500 years ago. They found the infants had different mothers and were the northernmost known kin to two lineages of Native Americans found farther south throughout North and South America. The study supports the theory that Native Americans descended from people who migrated from Asia to Bering land bridge, then spent up to 10,000 years there before moving into the Americas beginning at least 15,000 years ago.

Ancient permafrost quickly transforms to carbon dioxide upon thaw

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 16:14
Researchers have quantified how rapidly ancient permafrost decomposes upon thawing and how much carbon dioxide is produced in the process.

Traces of enormous solar storms in the ice of Greenland and Antarctica

Mon, 10/26/2015 - 10:21
Solar storms and the particles they release result in spectacular phenomena such as auroras, but they can also pose a serious risk to our society. In extreme cases they have caused major power outages, and they could also lead to breakdowns of satellites and communication systems. According to a new study solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1000 years ago.

Parts of Philippines may submerge due to global warming

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 09:49
More than 167,000 hectares of coastland -- about 0.6% of the country’s total area -- are projected to go underwater in the Philippines, especially in low-lying island communities, according to recent research.

Formation of coastal sea ice in North Pacific drives ocean circulation, climate

Tue, 10/20/2015 - 13:48
An unprecedented analysis of North Pacific ocean circulation over the past 1.2 million years has found that sea ice formation in coastal regions is a key driver of deep ocean circulation, influencing climate on regional and global scales. Coastal sea ice formation takes place on relatively small scales, however, and is not captured well in global climate models.

Fossils reveal humans were greater threat than climate change to Caribbean wildlife

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 17:28
Nearly 100 fossil species pulled from a flooded cave in the Bahamas reveal a true story of persistence against all odds -- at least until the time humans stepped foot on the islands.

Methane bubbling off Svalbard is not a source of atmospheric greenhouse gas

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 07:58
Methane seeps from seafloor deposits near Svalbard release less ‘greenhouse gas’ into the atmosphere than other Arctic sites because ocean currents there form an effective barrier. The Arctic contains large volumes of methane stored in forms that turn into gas if temperatures rise or the pressure they are subject to decreases. These forms include methane trapped in marine sediment beneath permafrost as hydrate– a form of methane ice. If methane gas escapes from these deposits, as well as from seafloor reservoirs, it could add to atmospheric warming, causing a positive climate forcing feedback, say investigators.

Two degree Celsius warming locks in sea level rise for thousands of years

Sun, 10/18/2015 - 20:38
A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C to 2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research.

2015 Antarctic maximum sea ice extent breaks streak of record highs

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 16:07
The sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean reached its yearly maximum extent on Oct. 6. At 7.27 million square miles (18.83 million square kilometers), the new maximum extent falls roughly in the middle of the record of Antarctic maximum extents compiled during the 37 years of satellite measurements -- this year's maximum extent is both the 22nd lowest and the 16th highest.

Rise and fall of agrarian states influenced by climate volatility

Thu, 10/15/2015 - 16:07
Climate variability is one of the major forces in the rise and fall of agrarian states in Mexico and Peru, according to a team of researchers looking at both climate and archaeological records.