Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 41 min 50 sec ago
Researchers have shed new light on the climate of the Little Ice Age, and rekindled debate over the role of the sun in climate change. The new study, which involved detailed scientific examination of a peat bog in southern South America, indicates that the most extreme climate episodes of the Little Ice Age were felt not just in Europe and North America, which is well known, but apparently globally. The research has implications for current concerns over ‘Global Warming’.
Scientists have now explained why the ice-covered Gamburtsev Mountains in the middle of Antarctica looks as young as they do.
Surviving an ice age: Mammals didn't play by the rules of modeling on where they migrated to survive last ice age
Leave it to long-dead short-tailed shrew and flying squirrels to outfox climate-modelers trying to predict future habitats. Evidence from the fossil record shows that gluttonous insect-eating shrew didn't live where a species distribution technique drawn by biologists put it 20,000 years ago to survive the reach of glaciers. The shrew is not alone.
Jurassic climate of large swath of western U.S. was more complex than previously known: Unexpected abrupt change from arid to wet
Climate over a large swath of the western US was more complex during the Jurassic than previously known, according to new research. Instead of a gradual transition from dry to wetter, chemical analysis of ancient soils reveals an unexpected abrupt change, say paleontologists. Samples were from the Morrison Formation, a massive rock unit sprawling across 13 states and Canada that's produced significant dinosaur discoveries for over 100 years.
Scientists will have to find alternative explanations for a huge population collapse in Europe at the end of the Bronze Age as researchers prove definitively that climate change -- commonly assumed to be responsible -- could not have been the culprit.
Reducing or eliminating tillage is one of the farming practices most frequently touted to improve carbon sequestration in soil. A new study turns this paradigm on its head. This study, the result of a rigorous experiment conducted in the Ile-de-France region, shows that after a period of 41 years, three tillage methods led to similar carbon sequestration outcomes. However, variations were apparent over time based on climate conditions.
If you want to see into the future, you have to understand the past. Researchers have drilled deposits on the bed of Lake Van (Eastern Turkey) which provide unique insights into the last 600,000 years. The samples reveal that the climate has done its fair share of mischief-making in the past. Furthermore, there have been numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The results of the drilling project also provide a basis for assessing the risk of how dangerous natural hazards are for today's population.
New research shows that hailstones form around biological materials, extending previous findings about the formation of snow and rain.
Arctic sea ice has diminished significantly in recent decades, particularly in summer. Researchers from Norway and China have collaborated on developing an autonomous buoy with instruments that can more precisely measure the optical properties of Arctic sea ice while also taking measurements of ice thickness and temperature.
Shark populations in the Mediterranean are highly divided, an international team of scientists has shown. The study used genetic techniques to investigate the population structure of the small-spotted shark, Scyliorhinus canicula. The species is common throughout Europe and has been eaten since ancient times, as documented in Roman mosaics.
Instead of carbon dioxide being like a blanket that slowly warms the planet, after about a decade most warming comes from melting ice and snow and a more moist atmosphere, which both cause Earth to absorb more shortwave radiation from the sun.
Researchers use robotic ocean gliders to study how warm water is making its way to Antarctic ice sheets -- and how this warming ultimately leads to rising ocean levels.
Rare 2.5-billion-year-old rocks reveal hot spot of sulfur-breathing bacteria: Sulfur-dependent life forms thrived in oceans
Biogeochemical signals in 2.5-billion-year-old carbonate rocks from Brazil reveal that sulfur-consuming bacteria were active at a time when ocean sulfur levels were low. Geologists focused on sulfur isotopes in ancient carbonate rocks. The study sheds light on Earth's early atmospheric chemistry.
Small New Zealand population initiated rapid forest transition c. 750 years ago: Drier forests lost within decades, instead of centuries as previously thought
Human-set fires by a small Polynesian population in New Zealand about 750 years ago may have caused fire-vulnerable forests to shift to shrub land over decades, rather than over centuries, as previously thought.
Researchers have drawn parallels between decline of Assyrian civilization and today's situation in Syria and Iraq. There's more to the decline of the once mighty ancient Assyrian Empire than just civil wars and political unrest. Archaeological, historical, and paleoclimatic evidence suggests that climatic factors and population growth might also have come into play.
Scientists have provided the first systematic examination of the social information polar bears may glean from scent left in the paw prints of other polar bears. The authors also suggest that scent communication in polar bears may be compromised if climate-change driven sea ice losses in the Arctic intensify.
A geologist has demonstrated that earthquakes -- not climate change, as previously thought -- affect the rate of landslides in Peru. "Geologic records of landslide activity offer rare glimpses into landscapes evolving under the influence of tectonics and climate," says a researcher whose expertise includes geomorphology and tectonics. "Because deposits from individual landslides are unlikely to be preserved, it's difficult to reconstruct landslide activity in the geologic past. Therefore, we've developed a method that measures landslide activity before and after the last glacial-interglacial climate transition in Peru."
A mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic region and melting sea ice has been identified by scientists. They found that open oceans are much less efficient than sea ice when it comes to emitting in the far-infrared region of the spectrum, a previously unknown phenomenon that is likely contributing to the warming of the polar climate.
Heinrich events, in which large masses of icebergs rapidly broke free from ice sheets during the last ice age, are thought to have influenced global climate by interrupting ocean circulation patterns with a large influx of freshwater. However, new research suggests the variations in the height of the ice sheet that happen in these events might also influence global climate.