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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
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El Niño's chang­ing pat­terns: Human influ­ence on nat­u­ral vari­abil­ity

Thu, 10/19/2023 - 14:18
Two recent scientific studies provide new insights into Earth's climate dynamics, with a particular focus on the El Niño phenomenon. The results show how El Niño responds to natural factors over extended periods, while highlighting the increasing role of human activities in shaping this climatic phenomenon in the modern era.

Subalpine forests in the Northern Rockies are fire resilient--for now

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 11:35
Using lake sediment cores, scientists determined how these subalpine ecosystems recovered after 4,800 years of fire.

Ocean circulation, ice melt and increasing tourism could all be contributing to Arctic microplastics

Tue, 10/17/2023 - 11:34
Scientists measured microplastic concentrations in the highly productive Barents Sea and suggest that ocean circulation, ice melt, tourism, inadequate waste management, shipping and fishing are all likely contributors.

Ice sheet surface melt is accelerating in Greenland and slowing in Antarctica

Mon, 10/16/2023 - 15:31
Surface ice in Greenland has been melting at an increasing rate in recent decades, while the trend in Antarctica has moved in the opposite direction, according to researchers.

Over 40 percent of Antarctica's ice shelves reduced in volume over 25 years

Thu, 10/12/2023 - 15:17
71 of the 162 ice shelves that surround Antarctica have reduced in volume over 25 years from 1997 to 2021, with a net release of 7.5 trillion tons of meltwater into the oceans, say scientists.  They found that almost all the ice shelves on the western side of Antarctica experienced ice loss. In contrast, most of the ice shelves on the eastern side stayed the same or increased in volume.  Over the 25 years, the scientists calculated almost 67 trillion tonnes of ice was exported to the ocean, which was offset by 59 trillion tons of ice being added to the ice shelves, giving a net loss of 7.5 trillion tons. 

Gray whales experience major population swings as a result of Arctic conditions

Thu, 10/12/2023 - 15:17
Dynamic and changing Arctic Ocean conditions have likely caused three major mortality events in the eastern North Pacific gray whale population since the 1980s. 

Large swings in past ocean oxygen revealed

Thu, 10/12/2023 - 10:17
As the climate warms, there is major concern that Earth's ocean will lose oxygen. A study has revealed that locked in ancient deep-sea sediments is evidence for oxygen loss in the world's ocean during past glacial periods, indicating that widespread oxygen loss with current climate change may not be permanent.    

Flooding that closed Alaska's Dalton Highway also caused widespread ground sinking

Wed, 10/11/2023 - 19:24
The massive 2015 flooding of the Sagavanirktok River in northern Alaska had immediate impacts, including closure of the Dalton Highway for several days, but it also contributed to longer-term ground subsidence in the permafrost-rich region. 

Warm summers and wet winters yield better wine vintages

Wed, 10/11/2023 - 17:21
Wine quality is notorious for varying from year to year, but what makes for a 'good year?' Researchers show that weather plays an important role in determining wine quality. By analyzing 50 years’ worth of wine critic scores from the Bordeaux wine region in relation to that year’s weather, the researchers showed that higher quality wine is made in years with warmer temperatures, higher winter rainfall, and earlier, shorter growing seasons—conditions that climate change is predicted to make more frequent.

Paleoclimatologists use ancient sediment to explore future climate in Africa

Tue, 10/10/2023 - 12:35
With global warming apparently here to stay, a team of paleoclimatologists are studying an ancient source to determine future rainfall and drought patterns: fossilized plants that lived on Earth millions of years ago.

Researchers identify largest ever solar storm in ancient 14,300-year-old tree rings

Mon, 10/09/2023 - 18:17
An international team of scientists have discovered a huge spike in radiocarbon levels 14,300 years ago by analyzing ancient tree-rings found in the French Alps. The radiocarbon spike was caused by a massive solar storm, the biggest ever identified.  A similar solar storm today would be catastrophic for modern technological society – potentially wiping out telecommunications and satellite systems, causing massive electricity grid blackouts, and costing us billions. The academics are warning of the importance of understanding such storms to protect our global communications and energy infrastructure for the future.

Ancient Maya reservoirs offer lessons for today's water crises

Mon, 10/09/2023 - 18:16
Ancient Maya reservoirs, which used aquatic plants to filter and clean the water, 'can serve as archetypes for natural, sustainable water systems to address future water needs.' The Maya built and maintained reservoirs that were in use for more than 1,000 years. These reservoirs provided potable water for thousands to tens of thousands of people in cities during the annual, five-month dry season and in periods of prolonged drought.

Prehistoric people occupied upland regions of inland Spain in even the coldest periods of the last Ice Age

Wed, 10/04/2023 - 14:05
Paleolithic human populations survived even in the coldest and driest upland parts of Spain, according to a new study.

Scientists investigate Grand Canyon's ancient past to predict future climate impacts

Mon, 10/02/2023 - 16:08
A team explores relationship between warming post-Ice Age temperatures and intensifying summer monsoon rains on groundwater reserves.

Ancient plant wax reveals how global warming affects methane in Arctic lakes

Fri, 09/29/2023 - 16:10
In a new study, researchers examined the waxy coatings of leaves preserved as organic molecules within sediment from the early-to-middle Holocene, a period of intense warming that occurred due to slow changes in Earth's orbit 11,700 to 4,200 years ago. They found that warming potentially could lead to a previously under-appreciated flux in methane emissions from lakes.

Biological particles play crucial role in Arctic cloud ice formation

Thu, 09/28/2023 - 14:21
An international team of scientists has presented research findings that reveal a crucial role of biological particles, including pollen, spores, and bacteria, in the formation of ice within Arctic clouds. These findings have far-reaching implications for climate science and our understanding of the rapidly changing Arctic climate.

A turtle time capsule: DNA found in ancient shell

Thu, 09/28/2023 - 14:19
Paleontologists discover possible DNA remains in fossil turtle that lived 6 million years ago in Panama, where continents collide.

Atlantic walrus more vulnerable than ever to Arctic warming

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:54
Past cycles of climate change, along with human exploitation, have led to only small and isolated stocks of Atlantic walrus remaining. The current population is at high risk of the same issues affecting them severely, according to a new study.

Novel bacterial proteins from seafloor shine light on climate and astrobiology

Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:53
Researchers have unveiled a remarkable discovery: the identification of novel bacterial proteins that play a vital role in the formation and stability of methane clathrates, which trap gigatons of greenhouse gas beneath the seafloor. These newfound proteins not only suppress methane clathrate growth as effectively as toxic chemicals used in drilling but also prove to be eco-friendly and scalable. This innovative breakthrough not only promises to enhance environmental safety in natural gas transportation but also sheds light on the potential for similar biomolecules to support life beyond Earth.

Antarctica's glacial border migrates for miles with the tide

Tue, 09/26/2023 - 23:34
New measurements of how boundary between onshore glacier and floating ice shelf glides back-and- forth could help predict melting.

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