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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 44 min ago

Beached iceberg helps reveal ecological impact of sea-ice changes

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 09:21
The grounding of a giant iceberg in Antarctica has provided a unique real-life experiment that has revealed the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to sudden changes in sea-ice cover. Scientists have found that within just three years of the iceberg becoming stuck in Commonwealth Bay -- an event which dramatically increased sea-ice cover in the bay -- almost all of the seaweed on the sea floor had decomposed, or become discolored or bleached due to lack of light.

'Eternal flames' of ancient times could spark interest of modern geologists

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 09:20
Gas and oil seeps have been part of religious and cultural practices for thousands of years. Seeps from which gas and oil escape were formative to many ancient cultures and societies. They gave rise to legends surrounding the Delphi Oracle, Chimaera fires and "eternal flames" that were central to ancient religious practices - from Indonesia and Iran to Italy and Azerbaijan.

Antarctic ice shelf is thinning from above and below

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 07:37
A decade-long scientific debate about what's causing the thinning of one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves is settled this week with the publication of an international study in the journal The Cryosphere.

Focus on the regional impact of climate change

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 09:35
The recently published Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin makes an important contribution to understanding variations in the climate. The report also captures the most important changes to the regional climate in the Kattegat and Baltic Sea areas, home to 90 million people.

Tide gauge network to be updated after 30 years at sea

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 09:35
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has been awarded funding to upgrade the South Atlantic Tide Gauge Network. This network has now been continuously operating in some of Earth's most remote places for 30 years, including open ocean islands, such as Ascension, and the hostile Antarctic environments of Rothera and Vernadsky.

Large landslides lie low: Himalaya-Karakoram ranges

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 12:59
Large landslides are an important process of erosion in the Himalaya-Karakoram ranges. These high-relief landscapes are characterized by steep slopes that are prone to frequent landsliding. By mapping nearly 500 large (greater than 0.1 km2) landslides in the HKR, geologists have found that the vast majority of these mass movements lie in the lower portions of the landscape, whereas glaciers and rock glaciers occupy the higher elevations almost exclusively.

Slowdown after Ice Age sounds a warning for Great Barrier Reef's future

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 09:23
Environmental factors similar to those affecting the present day Great Barrier Reef have been linked to a major slowdown in its growth 8,000 years ago, research shows.

As the river rises: Cahokia's emergence and decline linked to Mississippi River flooding

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 14:49
As with rivers, civilizations across the world rise and fall. Sometimes, the rise and fall of rivers has something to do with it. At Cahokia, the largest prehistoric settlement in the Americas north of Mexico, new evidence suggests that major flood events in the Mississippi River valley are tied to the cultural center's emergence and ultimately, to its decline.

Fjords are 'hotspots' in global carbon cycling

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 11:10
While fjords are celebrated for their beauty, these ecosystems are also major carbon sinks that likely play an important role in the regulation of the planet's climate, new research reveals.

Juvenile shale gas in Sweden

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 11:05
Considering geological time scales, the occurrence of biogenic shale gas in Sweden´s crust is relatively young. Geoscientists found that biogenic methane in the Alum Shale in South Sweden formed due to deglaciation around 12 years ago. Moreover, the formation processes were due to complex interactions between neotectonic activity and the occurrence of a deep biosphere. Applying a new hydrogeochemical modelling approach, the specific methane generation process was unraveled and quantified for the first time in Europe.

Gravity data show that Antarctic ice sheet is melting increasingly faster

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 18:11
Researchers 'weighed' Antarctica's ice sheet using gravitational satellite data and found that during the past decade, Antarctica's massive ice sheet lost twice the amount of ice in its western portion compared with what it accumulated in the east. Their conclusion -- the southern continent's ice cap is melting ever faster.

First global review of Arctic marine mammals

Thu, 04/30/2015 - 11:48
A multinational study attempted to gauge the population trends of Arctic marine mammals and changes in their habitat, identify missing scientific information, and provide recommendations for the conservation of Arctic marine mammals over the next decades.

200-year lag between climate events in Greenland, Antarctica: Ocean involved

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 12:29
A new study using evidence from a highly detailed ice core from West Antarctica shows a consistent link between abrupt temperature changes on Greenland and Antarctica during the last ice age, giving scientists a clearer picture of the link between climate in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Ancient archeological mystery solved: Cooling temps led to farming disaster, collapse of civilization

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 08:01
Climate change may be responsible for the abrupt collapse of civilization on the fringes of the Tibetan Plateau around 2000 B.C. according to archaeologists who found that cooling global temperatures at the end of the Holocene Climatic Optimum, a 4,000-year period of warm weather, would have made it impossible for ancient people on the Tibetan Plateau to cultivate millet, their primary food source.

Soil contamination from melt waters at airports

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 07:54
Geoscientists analyzed soil contamination through melt waters at airports. They found that de-icing agents like propylene glycol and potassium formate have a negative impact on groundwater quality and the functions of the soil.

Whitening the Arctic Ocean: May restore sea ice, but not climate

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 16:14
Some scientists have suggested that global warming could melt frozen ground in the Arctic, releasing vast amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, greatly amplifying global warming. It has been proposed that such disastrous climate effects could be offset by technological approaches. One such proposal is to artificially whiten the surface of the Arctic Ocean in order to increase the reflection of the Sun's energy into space and restore sea ice.

Salty aquifer, previously unknown microbial habitat discovered under Antarctica

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:52
Many view Antarctica as a frozen wasteland. Turns out there are hidden interconnected lakes underneath its dry valleys that could sustain life and shed light on ancient climate change. Microbiologists detected extensive salty groundwater networks in Antarctica using a novel airborne electromagnetic mapping sensor system. The findings shed new light on ancient climate change on Earth and provide evidence that a similar briny aquifer could support microscopic life on Mars.

Blogging on the ice: Connecting audiences with climate-change sciences

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:20
Climate change is a perennially controversial subject frequently splashed across mainstream headlines. However, what we see in the news is not always what the scientists at the front line of climate change experience. Some scientists have been trying to counteract these misconceptions via citizen journalism and directly connecting with the public through blogging rather than official media channels.

Alternate theory of inhabitation of North America disproven

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 13:51
The most widely accepted theory of the inhabitation of North America is that humans migrated from Siberia to Alaska by means of a 'land bridge' that spanned the Bering Strait. However, in the 1990s, a small group of researchers proposed that North America was first settled by people from Europe, who moved from east to west via a glacial 'ice bridge.' Now, researchers have definitively disproven the ice bridge theory.

Thawing permafrost feeds climate change

Thu, 04/23/2015 - 11:56
Single-cell organisms called microbes are rapidly devouring the ancient carbon being released from thawing permafrost soil and ultimately releasing it back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, according to new research. Increased carbon dioxide levels, of course, cause the Earth to warm and accelerate thawing.