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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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African evidence support Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 10:03
A team of scientists from South Africa has discovered evidence partially supporting a hypothesis that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12,800 years ago, leading to global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals at the time of an episode called the Younger Dryas.

Thousands of meltwater lakes mapped on the east Antarctic ice sheet

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 09:58
The number of meltwater lakes on the surface of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is more significant than previously thought, according to new research.

Humankind did not live with a high-carbon dioxide atmosphere until 1965

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 11:34
Humans have never before lived with the high carbon dioxide atmospheric conditions that have become the norm on Earth in the last 60 years, according to a new study.

Croc-like carnivores terrorized Triassic dinosaurs in southern Africa 210 million years ago

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 09:41
Giant, predatory croc-like animals that lived during the Triassic period in southern Africa preyed on early dinosaurs and mammal relatives 210 million years ago. These predators, known as 'rauisuchians' preyed on early herbivore dinosaurs and their mammal relatives living at the time.

New evidence of the Sahara's age

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 09:19
The Sahara Desert is vast, generously dusty, and surprisingly shy about its age. New research looking into what appears to be dust that the Sahara blew over to the Canary Islands is providing the first direct evidence from dry land that the age of the Sahara matches that found in deep-sea sediments: at least 4.6 million years old.

Why are mountains so high? It doesn't add up

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 08:31
Researchers have analyzed mountain ranges worldwide to show that a theory relating erosion and mountain height doesn't always add up.

Surface melting causes Antarctic glaciers to slip faster towards the ocean

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:13
Study shows for the first time a direct link between surface melting and short bursts of glacier acceleration in Antarctica. During these events, Antarctic Peninsula glaciers move up to 100% faster than average. Scientists call for these findings to be accounted for in sea level rise predictions.

Division by subtraction: Extinction of large mammal species likely drove survivors apart

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 13:23
A new study suggests that the extinctions of mammoths, dire wolves and other large mammal species in North America drove surviving species to distance themselves from their neighbors, reducing interactions as predators and prey, territorial competitors or scavengers. The discovery could preview the ecological effects of future extinctions, the researchers say.

Dust from a giant asteroid crash caused an ancient ice age

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 13:20
About 466 million years ago, long before the age of the dinosaurs, the Earth froze. The seas began to ice over at the Earth's poles, and new species evolved with the new temperatures. The cause of this ice age was a mystery, until now: a new study argues that the ice age was caused by global cooling, triggered by extra dust in the atmosphere from a giant asteroid collision in outer space.

Greenland's growing 'ice slabs' intensify meltwater runoff into ocean

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 12:15
Thick, impenetrable ice slabs are expanding rapidly on the interior of Greenland's ice sheet, where the ice is normally porous and able to reabsorb meltwater. These slabs are instead sending meltwater spilling into the ocean, according to a new assessment, threatening to increase the country's contribution to sea level rise by as much as 2.9 inches by 2100.

March of the multiple penguin genomes

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 18:36
A new article presents 19 high-coverage penguin genome sequences. Adding this to the two previously published penguin genomes, there are now genome sequences available for all living penguin species. Here, the Penguin Genome Consortium, made up of researchers from 10 countries, has produced an unparalleled amount of information that covers an entire biological order. Research from evolution, the impact of human activities impact, and environmental changes, will benefit from this work.

Atlantic Ocean may get a jump-start from the other side of the world

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 10:40
A key question for climate scientists in recent years has been whether the Atlantic Ocean's main circulation system is slowing down, a development that could have dramatic consequences for Europe and other parts of the Atlantic rim. But a new study suggests help may be on the way from an unexpected source -- the Indian Ocean.

Low sea-ice cover in the Arctic

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:14
The sea-ice extent in the Arctic is nearing its annual minimum at the end of the melt season in September. Only circa 3.9 million square kilometers of the Arctic Ocean are covered by sea ice any more, according to researchers.

Why is Earth so biologically diverse? Mountains hold the answer

Thu, 09/12/2019 - 13:04
Life on Earth is amazingly diverse, and exhibits striking geographical global patterns in biodiversity. A pair of companion papers reveal that mountain regions -- especially those in the tropics -- are hotspots of extraordinary and baffling richness. Although mountain regions cover only 25% of Earth's land area, they are home to more than 85% of the world's species of amphibians, birds, and mammals, and many of these are found only in mountains.

Reconstructing the evolution of all species

Wed, 09/11/2019 - 13:27
By looking into fossil teeth from almost 2 million years old rhinos, researchers have launched a new molecular method for studying the evolutionary history of fossil species dating back millions of years.

Ages of the Navajo Sandstone

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 12:11
The Navajo Sandstone is known for its beautiful red and tan crossbedded sandstones that grace many of the national parks and monuments in the southwest USA. The sands were deposited in dunes within the largest known sand sea (erg) in Earth's history during the Early Jurassic. These deposits show a record of desertification -- the process by which fertile lands become desert. How did this landscape lose its water bodies, vegetation, and animals?

Vintage film shows Thwaites Glacier ice shelf melting faster than previously observed

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 17:15
Newly available archival film has revealed the eastern ice shelf of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is melting faster than previous estimates, suggesting the shelf may collapse sooner than expected.

Evidence for past high-level sea rise

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 14:07
Scientists, studying evidence preserved in speleothems in a coastal cave, illustrate that more than three million years ago -- a time in which the Earth was two to three degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial era -- sea level was as much as 16 meters higher than the present day.

Early start of 20th century Arctic sea ice decline

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 14:07
Arctic sea-ice has decreased rapidly during the last decades in concert with substantial global surface warming. Both have happened much faster than predicted by climate models, and observed Arctic warming is much stronger than the global average. Projections suggest that Arctic summer sea-ice may virtually disappear within the course of the next fifty or even thirty years.

Deep snow cover in the Arctic region intensifies heat waves in Eurasia

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 10:28
Variations in the depth of snow cover in the Arctic region from late winter to spring determines the summer temperature pattern in Eurasia, according to new research. In particular, deeper-than-usual snow cover in Western Russia enhanced the likelihood of summer heat waves in Europe and Northeast Asia in recent years.