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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 2 hours 48 min ago

Did a magnetic field collapse trigger the emergence of animals?

Fri, 05/03/2024 - 12:53
Researchers uncovered compelling evidence that Earth's magnetic field was in a highly unusual state when the macroscopic animals of the Ediacaran Period -- 635 to 541 million years ago -- diversified and thrived. Their study raises the question of whether these fluctuations in Earth's ancient magnetic field led to shifts in oxygen levels that may have been crucial to the proliferation of life forms millions of years ago.

Ice shelves fracture under weight of meltwater lakes

Fri, 05/03/2024 - 12:53
Heavy pooling meltwater can fracture ice, potentially leading to ice shelf collapse.

Mystery behind huge opening in Antarctic sea ice solved

Wed, 05/01/2024 - 14:29
Researchers have discovered the missing piece of the puzzle behind a rare opening in the sea ice around Antarctica, which was nearly twice the size of Wales and occurred during the winters of 2016 and 2017. A study reveals a key process that had eluded scientists as to how the opening, called a polynya, was able to form and persist for several weeks.

Scientists show ancient village adapted to drought, rising seas

Tue, 04/30/2024 - 17:03
Researchers have unveiled evidence for ancient human resilience to climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ancient Maya blessed their ballcourts

Fri, 04/26/2024 - 15:51
Using environmental DNA analysis, an international team of researchers identified a collection of plants used in ceremonial rituals in the ancient Maya city of Yaxnohcah in Mexico. The plants, known for their religious associations and medicinal properties, were discovered beneath a plaza floor where a ballcourt was built.

Researchers find oldest undisputed evidence of Earth's magnetic field

Wed, 04/24/2024 - 10:15
A new study has recovered a 3.7-billion-year-old record of Earth's magnetic field, and found that it appears remarkably similar to the field surrounding Earth today.

Warming climate is putting more metals into Colorado's mountain streams

Tue, 04/23/2024 - 14:57
Warming temperatures are causing a steady rise in copper, zinc and sulfate in the waters of Colorado mountain streams affected by acid rock drainage. Concentrations of these metals have roughly doubled in these alpine streams over the past 30 years, presenting a concern for ecosystems, downstream water quality and mining remediation, according to a new study. Natural chemical weathering of bedrock is the source of the rising acidity and metals, but the ultimate driver of the trend is climate change, the report found, and the results point to lower stream volumes and exposure of rock once sealed away by ice as the likely causes.

Feedback loop that is melting ice shelves in West Antarctica revealed

Mon, 04/22/2024 - 11:07
New research has uncovered a feedback loop that may be accelerating the melting of the floating portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, pushing up global sea levels. The study sheds new light on the mechanisms driving the melting of ice shelves beneath the surface of the ocean, which have been unclear until now.

Data-driven music: Converting climate measurements into music

Thu, 04/18/2024 - 10:19
A geo-environmental scientist from Japan has composed a string quartet using sonified climate data. The 6-minute-long composition -- entitled 'String Quartet No. 1 'Polar Energy Budget'-- is based on over 30 years of satellite-collected climate data from the Arctic and Antarctic and aims to garner attention on how climate is driven by the input and output of energy at the poles.

Ice age climate analysis reduces worst-case warming expected from rising CO2

Wed, 04/17/2024 - 17:27
A detailed reconstruction of climate during the most recent ice age, when a large swath of North America was covered in ice, provides information on the relationship between CO2 and global temperature. Results show that while most future warming estimates remain unchanged, the absolute worst-case scenario is unlikely.

Paradox of extreme cold events in a warming world

Wed, 04/17/2024 - 12:10
The Warm Arctic-Cold Continent (WACC) phenomenon is the puzzling combination of Arctic warming and extreme coldness in specific mid-latitude regions. However, the progression of WACC events remains unclear amidst global warming. Scientists have now predicted a sharp decline in the WACC phenomenon post-2030s, affecting extreme weather events. These findings offer critical insights for communities, scientists, and policymakers to refine climate models and strategies and battle climate change.

Yellowstone Lake ice cover unchanged despite warming climate

Tue, 04/16/2024 - 11:53
While most lakes around the world are experiencing shorter durations of ice cover, the length of time that Yellowstone Lake is covered by ice each year has not changed in the past century, possibly due to increased snowfall.

New radar analysis method can improve winter river safety

Mon, 04/15/2024 - 10:04
Researchers have developed a way to use radar to detect open water zones and other changes in Alaska's frozen rivers in the early winter. The approach can be automated to provide current hazard maps and is applicable across the Arctic and sub-Arctic.

Ocean currents threaten to collapse Antarctic ice shelves

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 12:02
Meandering ocean currents play an important role in the melting of Antarctic ice shelves, threatening a significant rise in sea levels.

New approach needed to save Australia's non-perennial rivers

Wed, 04/10/2024 - 10:24
An extensive review of current research incorporating geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology and Indigenous knowledges identifies prevailing factors that shape water and energy flows in Australia's non-perennial rivers -- but the review also points to research deficiencies that must be addressed if these river systems are to be preserved and protected.

Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 11:40
Microplastic particles can be found in the most remote ocean regions on earth. In Antarctica, pollution levels are even higher than previously assumed.

Humans can increase biodiversity, archaeological study shows

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 11:40
Through the ages, the presence of humans has increased the heterogeneity and complexity of ecosystems and has often had a positive effect on their biodiversity.

Climate change threatens Antarctic meteorites

Mon, 04/08/2024 - 12:06
Antarctica harbors a large concentration of meteorites imbuing the icy continent with an unparalleled wealth of information on our solar system. However, these precious meteorites are rapidly disappearing from the ice sheet surface due to global warming, according to a new study.

These plants evolved in Florida millions of years ago: They may be gone in decades

Tue, 04/02/2024 - 13:04
Scrub mints are among the most endangered plants you've probably never heard of. More than half of the 24 species currently known to exist are considered threatened or endangered at the state or federal level. In a new study, researchers show there are likely more scrub mint species waiting to be scientifically described. And at least one species has been left without federal protection because of a technicality.

Melting glaciers in a warmer climate provide new ground for invasive species

Mon, 04/01/2024 - 13:25
In 2022 and 2023, biologists from research institutes in the UK and the Falkland Islands led two expeditions to South Georgia to study the impacts of invasive species on this cold and rugged sub-Antarctic island. They report that several invasive plants and invertebrates rapidly colonized the new ground exposed by melting glaciers, leaving few pristine areas for native species. With ongoing climate change, more research is needed across the world to understand how invasive species impact the fragile ecosystems that develop after glacier melting.

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