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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 shards in Antarctic clouds let more solar energy reach Earth’s surface

Wed, 04/13/2022 - 15:18
Clouds come in myriad shapes, sizes and types, which control their effects on climate. New research shows that splintering of frozen liquid droplets to form ice shards inside Southern Ocean clouds dramatically affects the clouds’ ability to reflect sunlight back to space.

Early human habitats linked to past climate shifts

Wed, 04/13/2022 - 12:11
A study provides clear evidence for a link between astronomically-driven climate change and human evolution.

Climate change affects landscape freeze-thaw but not in the same way everywhere

Wed, 04/13/2022 - 12:08
Researchers have use new statistical framework and analysis of datasets to demonstrate how increasing air temperatures and decreasing snow cover work in tandem to increase the effects of climate change in a non-linear fashion, meaning that they work to amplify the overall impact felt on the ground.

Climatic variability might not drive evolutionary change as much as previously thought

Mon, 04/11/2022 - 15:05
A new study combining records of climate change during the last 3.5 million years with fossil evidence of mammals in Africa reveals that times of erratic climate change are not followed by major upheavals in evolution.

Melting ice caps may not shut down ocean current

Fri, 04/08/2022 - 16:53
Most simulations of our climate's future may be overly sensitive to Arctic ice melt as a cause of abrupt changes in ocean circulation, according to new research.

New link between greenhouse gasses and sea level rise

Wed, 04/06/2022 - 09:17
Researchers have used advanced ocean modelling techniques to reveal how greenhouse gas emissions contribute to warmer oceans and resulting melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Simulations explain Greenland’s slower summer warming

Wed, 04/06/2022 - 09:17
Climate changes in the tropical Pacific have temporarily put the brakes on rapid warming and ice melting in Greenland.

The global 'plastic flood' reaches the Arctic

Tue, 04/05/2022 - 07:45
Even the High North can't escape the global threat of plastic pollution. An international review study shows, the flood of plastic has reached all spheres of the Arctic: large quantities of plastic - transported by rivers, the air and shipping- can now be found in the Arctic Ocean.

Origins of the Avars elucidated with ancient DNA

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 11:21
Less known than Attila's Huns, the Avars were their more successful successors. They ruled much of Central and Eastern Europe for almost 250 years. We know that they came from Central Asia in the sixth century CE, but ancient authors and modern historians debated their provenance. Now, a multidisciplinary research team of geneticists, archaeologists and historians has obtained and studied the first ancient genomes from the most important Avar elite sites discovered in contemporary Hungary. This study traces the genetic origin of the Avar elite to a faraway region of East Central Asia. It provides direct genetic evidence for one of the largest and most rapid long-distance migrations in ancient human history.

Meltwater drainage, break-away icebergs linked at shrinking Helheim Glacier

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 11:12
Dark patches of open sea that appear in the ice-choked water around Helheim Glacier may reveal new clues about how a rapidly changing Greenland glacier loses ice, according to scientists.

Million-year-old Arctic sedimentary record sheds light on climate mystery

Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:16
New research provides a continuous look at a shift in climate, called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, that has puzzled scientists.

Argon found in air of ancient atmosphere

Wed, 03/30/2022 - 09:33
Researchers have discovered argon trapped in air-hydrate crystals in ice cores, which can be used to reconstruct past temperature changes and climate shifts.

Solid aerosols found in Arctic atmosphere could impact cloud formation and climate

Mon, 03/28/2022 - 15:53
Solid aerosols can change how clouds form in the Arctic. And, as the Arctic loses ice, researchers expect to see more of these unique particles formed from oceanic emissions combined with ammonia from birds, which will impact cloud formation and climate. Additionally, understanding the characteristics of aerosols in the atmosphere is critical for improving the ability of climate models to predict current and future climate in the Arctic and beyond.

Solar energy explains fast yearly retreat of Antarctica's sea ice

Mon, 03/28/2022 - 10:23
Sea ice around Antarctica retreats more quickly than it advances, an asymmetry that has been a puzzle. New analysis shows that the Southern Hemisphere is following simple rules of physics, as peak midsummer sun causes rapid changes. In this respect, it seems, it's Arctic sea ice that is more mysterious.

Artificial hail for more accurate weather forecasts

Fri, 03/25/2022 - 13:46
A vertical wind tunnel has supplied important data to facilitate the prediction of heavy rain, hail, and graupel precipitation.

Rapid glacial advance reconstructed during the time of Norse occupation in Greenland

Fri, 03/25/2022 - 08:39
The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice body in the world, and it has the potential to contribute significantly to global sea-level rise in a warming global climate. Understanding the long-term record of the Greenland Ice Sheet, including both records of glacial advance and retreat, is critical in validating approaches that model future ice-sheet scenarios. However, this reconstruction can be extremely challenging. A new study has reconstructed the advance of one of the largest tidewater glaciers in Greenland to provide a better understanding of long-term glacial dynamics.

Birds are laying their eggs a month earlier, and climate change is to blame

Fri, 03/25/2022 - 08:38
By comparing century-old eggs preserved in museum collections to modern observations, scientists were able to determine that about a third of the bird species nesting in Chicago have are laying their eggs a month earlier than they were a hundred years ago. As far as the researchers can tell, the culprit in this shift is climate change.

Rewriting the history books: Why the Vikings left Greenland

Wed, 03/23/2022 - 14:16
One of the great mysteries of late medieval history is why did the Norse, who had established successful settlements in southern Greenland in 985, abandon them in the early 15th century? The consensus view has long been that colder temperatures, associated with the Little Ice Age, helped make the colonies unsustainable. However, new research upends that old theory. It wasn't dropping temperatures that helped drive the Norse from Greenland, but drought.

Effects of ancient carbon releases suggest possible scenarios for future climate

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 13:57
A massive release of greenhouse gases, likely triggered by volcanic activity, caused a period of extreme global warming known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) about 56 million years ago. A new study now confirms that the PETM was preceded by a smaller episode of warming and ocean acidification caused by a shorter burst of carbon emissions. The short-lived precursor event represents what might happen if current emissions can be shut down quickly, while the much more extreme global warming of the PETM shows the consequences of continuing to release carbon into the atmosphere at the current rate.

Ancient ice reveals scores of gigantic volcanic eruptions

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 10:50
Ice cores drilled in Antarctica and Greenland have revealed gigantic volcanic eruptions during the last ice age. Sixty-nine of these were larger than any eruption in modern history. According to the physicists behind the research, these eruptions can teach us about our planet's sensitivity to climate change.

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