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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Ice cores from Earth's highest tropical peak provide insight into climate variability

Wed, 11/15/2023 - 12:32
A new study examines ice cores from the summit of the highest tropical mountain in the world, and finds unique insight into the climate record of the Amazon Basin over the last six decades. 

Climate engineering could slow Antarctic ice loss

Wed, 11/15/2023 - 10:34
A study reports that scattering sunlight-reflecting particles in the atmosphere -- a theoretical form of climate engineering known as 'stratospheric aerosol injection' -- has potential to slow rapid ice melt in Western Antarctica.

Melting ice falling snow: Sea ice declines enhance snowfall over West Antarctica

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 20:57
As the world continues to warm, Antarctica is losing ice at an increasing pace, but the loss of sea ice may lead to more snowfall over the ice sheets, partially offsetting contributions to sea level rise.

Europe was not covered by dense forest before the arrival of modern humans

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 13:37
For decades, we believed that outside ice ages Europe was mostly covered by dense forest before the arrival of modern humans. Now, a new study shows that there was far more open and semi-open vegetation than conventionally expected.

Faster Arctic warming hastens 2C rise by eight years

Mon, 11/13/2023 - 18:21
The Arctic is currently warming nearly four times faster than the global average rate. The new study aimed to estimate the impact of this faster warming on how quickly the global temperature thresholds of 1.5C and 2C, set down in the Paris Agreement, are likely to be breached.

North Atlantic's marine productivity may not be declining, according to new study of older ice cores

Mon, 11/13/2023 - 14:52
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of declining phytoplankton in the North Atlantic may have been greatly exaggerated. Analysis of a Greenland ice core going back 800 years shows that atmospheric chemistry, not dwindling phytoplankton populations, explains the industrial-era ice core trends.

Forming ice: There's a fungal protein for that

Mon, 11/13/2023 - 10:17
New research explores how proteins produced by a common fungus trigger ice nucleation at warm temperatures. The study holds potential implications for improving our understanding of how life affects precipitation and climate.

Greenland's glacier retreat rate has doubled over past two decades

Thu, 11/09/2023 - 11:14
A new study documents how Greenland's peripheral glaciers have changed from 1890 to 2022. Using satellite images and a unique archive of historical aerial photos, researchers documented changes in the lengths of more than 1,000 of the country's glaciers over the past 130 years. Although glaciers in Greenland have experienced retreat throughout the last century, the rate of their retreat has rapidly accelerated over the last two decades.

Keeping an eye on the regions when it comes to climate change

Mon, 11/06/2023 - 12:48
Up to now, the results of climate simulations have sometimes contradicted the analysis of climate traces from the past. Physicists and climatologists have now brought together experts in climate models and climate tracks to clarify how the discrepancies come about. The surprising result has now been published: in a way, both sides are right. Climate models correctly simulate global temperature trends, but often underestimate the strength of regional climate fluctuations, especially over the course of decades to centuries.

How salt from the Caribbean affects our climate

Fri, 11/03/2023 - 16:06
Past cold periods such as the Little Ice Age were associated with reduced strength of North Atlantic currents and increased surface salinity in the Caribbean. This was accompanied by disturbances in the distribution of salt to the north leading to longer, stronger cooling phases in the northern hemisphere.

How a climate model can illustrate and explain ice-age climate variability

Thu, 11/02/2023 - 12:51
During the last ice age, the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago, the climate in the North Atlantic underwent much greater multi-centennial variability than it does in the present warm period. This is supported by evidence found in ice and seafloor cores. Researchers have now shown, based on a climate model, that internal mechanisms such as temperature and salinity distribution in the ocean are driving this multi-centennial variability.

Study links changes in global water cycle to higher temperatures

Thu, 11/02/2023 - 12:49
A new study takes an important step toward reconstructing a global history of water over the past 2,000 years. Using geologic and biologic evidence preserved in natural archives -- including 759 different paleoclimate records from globally distributed corals, trees, ice, cave formations and sediments -- the researchers showed that the global water cycle has changed during periods of higher and lower temperatures in the recent past.

Ocean warming is accelerating, and hotspots reveal which areas are absorbing the most heat

Wed, 11/01/2023 - 12:48
A new study reveals increasing warming rates in the world's oceans in recent decades and the locations with the greatest heat uptake.

Meltwater flowing beneath Antarctic glaciers may be accelerating their retreat

Fri, 10/27/2023 - 15:58
A new Antarctic ice sheet modeling study suggests that meltwater flowing out to sea from beneath Antarctic glaciers is making them lose ice faster.   

Breakthrough synthesis method improves solar cell stability

Thu, 10/26/2023 - 15:10
A new process yields 2D halide perovskite crystal layers of ideal thickness and purity through dynamic control of the crystallization process -- a key step toward ensuring device stability for optoelectronics and photovoltaics.

Sediment core analysis supports new epoch characterized by human impact on planet

Wed, 10/25/2023 - 10:06
Scientists analyzed open-source data to track vegetation changes across North America since the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, and conclude that humans have had as much of an impact on the landscape as the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. 

Report warns about risk tipping points with irreversible impacts on people and planet

Wed, 10/25/2023 - 10:06
A new report finds that drastic changes are approaching if risks to our fundamental socioecological systems are not addressed.  The Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023 warns of six risk tipping points ahead of us: Accelerating extinctions; Groundwater depletion; Mountain glaciers melting; Space debris; Unbearable heat; and an Uninsurable future.

Bizarre new fossils shed light on ancient plankton

Wed, 10/25/2023 - 10:06
Recently discovered microfossils date back half a billion years. Resembling modern-day algae, they provide insight into early life in our oceans.

Climate report: 'Uncharted territory' imperils life on Earth

Tue, 10/24/2023 - 10:06
An international coalition of climate scientists says that the Earth's vital signs have worsened beyond anything humans have yet seen, to the point that life on the planet is imperiled.

Increased West Antarctic Ice Sheet melting 'unavoidable'

Mon, 10/23/2023 - 11:38
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet will continue to increase its rate of melting over the rest of the century, no matter how much we reduce fossil fuel use, according to new research. A substantial acceleration in ice melting likely cannot now be avoided, which implies that Antarctica's contribution to sea level rise could increase rapidly over the coming decades.