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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 31 min 25 sec ago

Blowing snow contributes to Arctic warming

Mon, 09/04/2023 - 12:31
Atmospheric scientists have discovered abundant fine sea salt aerosol production from wind-blown snow in the central Arctic, increasing seasonal surface warming.

New research explains 'Atlantification' of the Arctic Ocean

Fri, 09/01/2023 - 13:36
New research by an international team of scientists explains what's behind a stalled trend in Arctic Ocean sea ice loss since 2007. The findings indicate that stronger declines in sea ice will occur when an atmospheric feature known as the Arctic dipole reverses itself in its recurring cycle. The many environmental responses to the Arctic dipole are described in a recent article. This analysis helps explain how North Atlantic water influences Arctic Ocean climate. Scientists call it Atlantification.

Antarctic ice shelves thinner than previously thought

Fri, 09/01/2023 - 11:40
As global ice dams begin to weaken due to warming temperatures, a new study suggests that prior attempts to evaluate the mass of the huge floating ice shelves that line the Antarctic ice sheet may have overestimated their thickness.

Using evidence from last Ice Age, scientists predict effects of rising seas on coastal habitats

Thu, 08/31/2023 - 11:06
The rapid sea level rise and resulting retreat of coastal habitat seen at the end of the last Ice Age could repeat itself if global average temperatures rise beyond certain levels, according to an analysis by an international team of scientists.

Past abrupt changes in North Atlantic Overturning have impacted the climate system across the globe

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 15:23
Abrupt climate changes have affected rainfall patterns worldwide in the past, especially in the tropical monsoon region, a new study shows. An international team of scientists used dripstones from globally distributed caves together with model simulations to analyze the global impacts of rapid Northern-Hemisphere temperature increases, the widely studied Dansgaard-Oeschger events, that repeatedly occurred during the last ice age. The comparison of stalagmite and model data shows in unprecedented detail how these abrupt changes and the associated modifications of the Atlantic overturning circulation, AMOC for short, have affected global atmospheric circulation.

Due to sea-ice retreat, zooplankton could remain in the deep longer

Mon, 08/28/2023 - 12:03
Due to intensifying sea-ice melting in the Arctic, sunlight is now penetrating deeper and deeper into the ocean. Since marine zooplankton respond to the available light, this is also changing their behavior -- especially how the tiny organisms rise and fall within the water column. As an international team of researchers has now shown, in the future this could lead to more frequent food shortages for the zooplankton, and to negative effects for larger species including seals and whales.

Loss of Antarctic sea ice causes catastrophic breeding failure for emperor penguins

Thu, 08/24/2023 - 10:08
Emperor penguin colonies experienced unprecedented breeding failure in a region of Antarctica where there was total sea ice loss in 2022. The discovery supports predictions that over 90% of emperor penguin colonies will be quasi-extinct by the end of the century, based on current global warming trends.

Ice-free preservation method holds promise to protect reefs

Wed, 08/23/2023 - 15:54
An interdisciplinary team of researchers demonstrated that coral can be preserved through a new technique called isochoric vitrification. This process takes the selected coral fragments through the stages of cryopreservation and subsequent revival.

Thinning ice sheets may drive sharp rise in subglacial waters

Mon, 08/21/2023 - 14:32
A new study shows that water underneath glaciers may surge due to thinning ice sheets -- a dangerous feedback cycle that could increase glacial melt, sea level rise, and biological disturbances.

Unprecedented look at what influences sea ice motion in the Arctic

Wed, 08/16/2023 - 16:06
The in-depth analysis reveals how local tidal currents strongly affect the movement of sea ice in the Arctic ocean and provides an unprecedented look at how the makeup of the seafloor is causing some of the most abrupt changes.

Scientists say deepening Arctic snowpack drives greenhouse gas emissions

Wed, 08/16/2023 - 12:46
Human-caused climate change is shortening the snow cover period in the Arctic. But according to new research led by Earth system scientists, some parts of the Arctic are getting deeper snowpack than normal, and that deep snow is driving the thawing of long-frozen permafrost carbon reserves and leading to increased emissions of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide and methane.

Could artificially dimming the sun prevent ice melt?

Fri, 08/11/2023 - 10:54
With methods of so-called geoengineering, the climate could theoretically be artificially influenced and cooled. Researchers have now investigated whether it would be possible to prevent the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet by artificially 'dimming the sun'. The results show that artificial influence does not work without decarbonization and entails high risks.

How a massive North Atlantic cooling event disrupted early human occupation in Europe

Thu, 08/10/2023 - 13:10
A new study finds that around 1.12 million years ago a massive cooling event in the North Atlantic and corresponding shifts in climate, vegetation and food resources disrupted early human occupation of Europe.

Drops of seawater contain traces of an ancient world

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 12:07
New research links chemical changes in seawater to volcanic activity and changes.

Then vs. now: Did the Horn of Africa reach a drought tipping point 11,700 years ago?

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 12:06
If climate models predict that much of tropical Africa will become wetter with a warming climate, then why does it keep getting drier in the Horn of Africa?

Telecommunications cable used to track sea ice extent in the Arctic

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 12:05
A telecommunications fiber optic cable deployed offshore of Oliktok Point, Alaska recorded ambient seismic noise that can be used to finely track the formation and retreat of sea ice in the area, researchers report.

New Antarctic extremes 'virtually certain' as world warms

Tue, 08/08/2023 - 10:09
Extreme events in Antarctica such as ocean heatwaves and ice loss will almost certainly become more common and more severe, researchers say.

Invasion of the Arctic Ocean by Atlantic plankton species reveals a seasonally ice-free ocean during the last interglacial

Fri, 08/04/2023 - 11:37
A subpolar species associated with Atlantic water expanded far into the Arctic Ocean during the Last Interglacial, analysis of microfossil content of sediment cores reveals. This implies that summers in the Arctic were ice free during this period.

Study examines Earth and Mars to determine how climate change affects the paths of rivers

Thu, 08/03/2023 - 20:38
The study investigated why the paths of meandering rivers change over time and is a step toward understanding what the hydroclimate on Mars was like when there was still surface water.

Insolation affected ice age climate dynamics

Mon, 07/31/2023 - 10:07
In past ice ages, the intensity of summer insolation affected the emergence of warm and cold periods and played an important role in triggering abrupt climate changes, a study by climate researchers, geoscientists, and environmental physicists suggests. Using stalagmites in the European Alps, they were able to demonstrate that warm phases appeared primarily when the summer insolation reached maxima in the Northern Hemisphere.