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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 14 min ago

Wobbling particles in the sky

Fri, 01/19/2024 - 11:27
Tiny particles such as ice crystals or ash particles tend to oscillate as they settle through the atmosphere. In their experiments, the scientists were able to track non-spherical particles of size smaller than 1 millimeter with unprecedented accuracy. Their observations gave rise to a model which can help to refine prediction on air pollutants or weather forecasts.

Why animals shrink over time explained with new evolution theory

Thu, 01/18/2024 - 11:22
The new theoretical research proposes that animal size over time depends on two key ecological factors.

Stalagmites as climate archive

Wed, 01/17/2024 - 13:36
When combined with data from tree-ring records, stalagmites can open up a unique archive to study natural climate fluctuations, a research team has demonstrated. The researchers analyzed the isotopic composition of oxygen in a stalagmite formed from calcareous water in a cave in southern Germany. In conjunction with the data acquired from tree rings, they were able to reconstruct short-term climate fluctuations over centuries and correlate them with historically documented environmental events.

Chasing the light: Study finds new clues about warming in the Arctic

Mon, 01/15/2024 - 11:12
The Arctic, Earth's icy crown, is experiencing a climate crisis like no other. It's heating up at a furious pace -- four times faster than the rest of our planet. Researchers are pulling back the curtain on the reduction of sunlight reflectivity, or albedo, which is supercharging the Arctic's warming.

The first assessment of toxic heavy metal pollution in the Southern Hemisphere over the last 2,000 years

Thu, 01/11/2024 - 15:26
Human activity, from burning fossil fuels and fireplaces to the contaminated dust produced by mining, alters Earth's atmosphere in countless ways. Records of these impacts over time are preserved in everlasting polar ice that serves as a sort of time capsule, allowing scientists and historians to link Earth's history with that of human societies. In a new study, ice cores from Antartica show that lead and other toxic heavy metals linked to mining activities polluted the Southern Hemisphere as early as the 13th century.

Acidity of Antarctic waters could double by century's end, threatening biodiversity

Tue, 01/09/2024 - 17:35
Without drastically reducing global emissions, the Antarctic Ocean could become too acidic for hundreds of species living there, many already endangered by rising temperatures and sea ice loss.

Meteorite analysis shows Earth's building blocks contained water

Tue, 01/09/2024 - 11:11
Analysis of iron meteorites from the earliest years of the solar system indicate that the planetary 'seeds' that ultimately formed Earth contained water.

Male southern elephant seals are picky eaters

Thu, 01/04/2024 - 11:20
New research suggests these large marine mammals are extremely fussy and only eat their favorite foods.

Reduced air pollution during pandemic points to way to preserve Himalayan glaciers

Thu, 12/21/2023 - 00:24
Reducing air pollution to levels similar to those during the coronavirus pandemic could protect the glaciers in the Himalayas and prevent them from disappearing by the end of the century. This is the conclusion reached by an international research team analyzing the situation during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

Mesopotamian bricks unveil the strength of Earth's ancient magnetic field

Mon, 12/18/2023 - 14:09
Ancient bricks inscribed with the names of Mesopotamian kings have yielded important insights into a mysterious anomaly in Earth's magnetic field 3,000 years ago, according to a new study.

Exoplanets'climate -- it takes nothing to switch from habitable to hell

Mon, 12/18/2023 - 12:00
The Earth is a wonderful blue and green dot covered with oceans and life, while Venus is a yellowish sterile sphere that is not only inhospitable but also sterile. However, the difference between the two bears to only a few degrees in temperature. A team of astronomers has achieved a world's first by managing to simulate the entirety of the runaway greenhouse process which can transform the climate of a planet from idyllic and perfect for life, to a place more than harsh and hostile. The scientists have also demonstrated that from initial stages of the process, the atmospheric structure and cloud coverage undergo significant changes, leading to an almost-unstoppable and very complicated to reverse runaway greenhouse effect. On Earth, a global average temperature rise of just a few tens of degrees, subsequent to a slight rise of the Sun's luminosity, would be sufficient to initiate this phenomenon and to make our planet inhabitable.

Positive tipping points must be triggered to solve climate crisis

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 13:02
Positive tipping points must be triggered if we are to avoid the severe consequences of damaging Earth system tipping points, researchers say.

Ancient DNA reveals how a chicken virus evolved to become more deadly

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 00:54
An international team of scientists led by geneticists and disease biologists has used ancient DNA to trace the evolution of Marek's Disease Virus (MDV). This global pathogen causes fatal infections in unvaccinated chickens and costs the poultry industry over $1 billion per year. The findings show how viruses evolve to become more virulent and could lead to the development of better ways to treat viral infections.

Best areas for rewilding European bison

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 18:19
Simulations integrate historical records, fossils, and ancient DNA to reveal why the European bison nearly went extinct, and pinpoint optimal areas for conservation.   Since the near-extinction of the European bison, enormous conservation efforts have helped to restore wild populations, and its numbers are on the rise. However, the study authors argue that ensuring the species's long-term protection and recovery requires understanding why they nearly went extinct in the first place.    'Our study also suggests areas where rewilding attempts are most likely to be successful,' said lead author July Pilowsky, currently a disease ecologist at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Pilowsky completed the research while working on their PhD at University of Adelaide and University of Copenhagen.   

Geoscientists map changes in atmospheric CO2 over past 66 million years

Thu, 12/07/2023 - 15:04
An international consortium of geoscientists has reconstructed atmosphereric levels of CO2 going back 66 million years using proxies in the geoloogical record. Today's concenteration, 420 parts per million, is higher than it's ever been in 14 million years.

Climate change shown to cause methane to be released from the deep ocean

Wed, 12/06/2023 - 10:59
New research has shown that fire-ice -- frozen methane which is trapped as a solid under our oceans -- is vulnerable to melting due to climate change and could be released into the sea.

More than a meteorite: New clues about the demise of dinosaurs

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 12:51
What wiped out the dinosaurs? A meteorite plummeting to Earth is only part of the story, a new study suggests. Climate change triggered by massive volcanic eruptions may have ultimately set the stage for the dinosaur extinction, challenging the traditional narrative that a meteorite alone delivered the final blow to the ancient giants.

Himalayan glaciers react, blow cold winds down their slopes

Mon, 12/04/2023 - 12:50
Himalayan Glaciers fight back to preserve themselves, but for how long? An international team of researchers explains a stunning phenomenon: rising global temperatures have led Himalayan glaciers to increasingly cool the air in contact with the ice surface. The ensuing cold winds might help cool the glaciers and preserve the surrounding ecosystems. The results were found across the Himalayan range.

Antarctica's ancient ice sheets foreshadow dynamic changes in Earth's future

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 11:19
Identifying how and why Antarctica's major ice sheets behaved the way they did in the early Miocene could help inform understanding of the sheets' behavior under a warming climate. Together, the ice sheets lock a volume of water equivalent to more than 50 meters of sea level rise and influence ocean currents that affect marine food webs and regional climates. Their fate has profound consequences for life nearly everywhere on Earth.  

Decoding past climates through dripstones

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 10:32
A recent study demonstrates how dripstones can be crucial for reconstructing past climates. The new approach can provide a detailed picture of the climate around early human occupations in South Africa.