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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 19 min 53 sec ago

How radiative fluxes are affected by cloud and particle characteristics

Fri, 04/17/2015 - 09:34
Climate models calculate a changing mix of clouds and emissions that interact with solar energy. To narrow the broad range of possible answers from a climate model, researchers analyzed the effect of several proven numerical stand-ins for atmospheric processes on the energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. They found that the flux is the main driver of surface temperature change.

Dating the moon-forming impact event with meteorites

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 13:55
Through a combination of data analysis and numerical modeling work, researchers have found a record of the ancient moon-forming giant impact observable in stony meteorites. The research indicates numerous kilometer-sized fragments from the giant impact struck main belt asteroids at much higher velocities than typical main belt collisions, heating the surface and leaving behind a permanent record of the impact event.

Studying how climate affects biodiversity

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:20
A key question in the climate debate is how the occurrence and distribution of species is affected by climate change. But without information about natural variation in species abundance it is hard to answer. In a major study, researchers can now for the first time give us a detailed picture of natural variation.

Iceberg armadas not the cause of North Atlantic cooling

Wed, 04/15/2015 - 12:33
Armadas of icebergs were probably not the cause of abrupt episodes of cooling in the North Atlantic over the past 440,000 years, according to new research.

Climate connections: Examining climate changes of the past

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 20:25
Global climate has undergone periods of stability, but also instability, with abrupt, rapid and substantial climate changes occurring as a consequence of natural processes scientists still don't understand. A paleoceanographer has contributed to the field in a recent paper, which demonstrates the influence of rapid climate change on marine ecosystems near Venezuela tens of thousands of years ago and shows how changes there were accompanied by simultaneous changes globally.

New method relates Greenland ice sheet changes to sea-level rise

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 08:35
Early schemes to model the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and their impact on sea levels failed to accurately account for changes caused by snowfall and snow melt. These changes depend on ice sheet elevation and region. Researchers developed a new method that includes the effects of elevation and region.

What life was like for newborn giant sea lizards during the age of the dinosaur

Fri, 04/10/2015 - 10:34
Many scientists have studied fossils from gigantic marine lizards called mosasaurs that lived at the time of the dinosaurs and flourished in ancient seas, but little is known about aspects of their breeding and birth. Investigators have gained new insights from young mosasaur specimens collected over 100 years ago that had previously been thought to belong to ancient marine birds. The team noted that the specimens show a variety of features related to the jaws and teeth that are only found in mosasaurs.

Panama debate fueled by zircon dating

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 17:29
New evidence by geologists dates the closure of an ancient seaway at 13 to 15 million years ago and challenges accepted theories about the rise of the Isthmus of Panama and its impact on world climate and animal migrations.

Arctic: Ferromanganese crusts record past climates

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 11:04
The onset of northern hemispheric glaciation cycles three million years ago has dramatically changed Arctic climate. Scientists have now for the first time reconstructed the history of Arctic climate based on records archived in ferromanganese crusts.

Contaminants also a threat to polar bears

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 07:50
The polar bear, one of the largest carnivorous mammals on Earth, is being made vulnerable by the series of dangers it faces. An international team has established a guide to evaluate the condition of its health and although the polar bear's biggest threat is climate change, plastic pollution and environmental contaminants in its habitat are starting to affect its endocrine system and reproduction. Climate change is undoubtedly the main threat to polar bears. They also suffer from nutritional stress, reduction of polar ice, human contact and diseases and parasites. But that's not all, researchers warn.

Western Canada to lose 70 percent of glaciers by 2100

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:10
Seventy percent of glacier ice in British Columbia and Alberta could disappear by the end of the 21st century, creating major problems for local ecosystems, power supplies, and water quality, according to a new study.

Polar bears unlikely to thrive on land-based foods

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 12:30
Polar bears, increasingly forced on shore due to sea ice loss, may be eating terrestrial foods including berries, birds and eggs, but any nutritional gains are limited to a few individuals and likely cannot compensate for lost opportunities to consume their traditional, lipid-rich prey -- ice seals.

200th anniversary of Tambora eruption a reminder of volcanic perils

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:24
The volcanologist Stephen Self, an expert on super-eruptions, was the first modern-day scientist to visit Tambora in Indonesia, the site of the largest volcanic eruption in 1,000 years. On the 200th anniversary of its eruption in 1815, Self and others warn of the ever-present dangers of volcanoes like Tambora. Globally dispersed clouds of sulfate aerosols could lead to cooling, crop failures and famine, as happened in the 'year without a summer' of 1816.

Climate-related disruptions of marine ecosystems: Decades to destroy, millennia to recover

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 15:33
A new study reports that marine ecosystems can take thousands, rather than hundreds, of years to recover from climate-related upheavals. The study's authors analyzed thousands of invertebrate fossils to show that ecosystem recovery from climate change and seawater deoxygenation might take place on a millennial scale.

Direct evidence for a positive feedback in climate change: Global warming itself will likely accelerate warming

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:24
A new study has confirmed the existence of a positive feedback operating in climate change whereby warming itself may amplify a rise in greenhouse gases resulting in additional warming.

Seabed samples rewrite earthquake history near Istanbul

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 11:24
Cores of marine sediment reveal an earthquake history of the Cinarcik Segment, a main branch of NAF, and suggest a seismic gap where the next earthquake is likely to rupture, as detailed in a new study.

Diverse sources of methane in shallow Arctic lakes discovered

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 08:53
New research into the changing ecology of thousands of shallow lakes on the North Slope of Alaska suggests that in scenarios of increasing global temperatures, methane-generating microbes, found in thawing lake sediments, may ramp up production of the potent greenhouse gas -- which has a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Volcanic eruptions found to durably impact climate through alterations to North Atlantic Ocean circulation

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 07:27
Particles emitted during major volcanic eruptions cool the atmosphere due to a 'parasol' effect that reflects sunlight. The direct impact of these particles in the atmosphere is fairly short, lasting two to three years. However, they alter for more than 20 years the North Atlantic Ocean circulation, which connects surface and deep currents and influences the climate in Europe.

Climate change does not cause extreme winters, experts say

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:22
Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists have now shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

Two degree Celsius climate change target 'utterly inadequate', expert argues

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 08:10
The official global target of a two degree Celsius temperature rise is 'utterly inadequate' for protecting those at most risk from climate change, says an expert. The commentary presents a rare inside-view of a discussion at the Lima Conference of the Parties on the likely consequences of accepting an average global warming target of 2 degrees Celsius versus 1.5 degrees Celsius.