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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 3 min 33 sec ago

Scientists discover large rift in the Arctic’s last bastion of thick sea ice

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 12:11
In May 2020, a hole a little smaller than the state of Rhode Island opened up for two weeks in the Last Ice Area, a million-square-kilometer patch of sea ice north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island that's expected to be the last refuge of ice in a rapidly warming Arctic. The polynya is the first one that has been identified in this part of the Last Ice Area.

Popular theory of Native American origins debunked by genetics and skeletal biology

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 07:16
A widely accepted theory of Native American origins coming from Japan has been attacked in a new scientific study, which shows that the genetics and skeletal biology 'simply does not match-up.'

Arctic sea ice may make a last stand in this remote region; it may lose the battle

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 14:00
With warming climate, summer sea ice in the Arctic has been shrinking fast, and now consistently spans less than half the area it did in the early 1980s. This raises the question: It this keeps up, in the future will year-round sea ice -- and the creatures who need it to survive -- persist anywhere? A new study addresses this question, and the results are daunting.

Greenland’s groundwater changes with thinning ice sheet

Tue, 10/12/2021 - 12:07
For more than a decade, a team of researchers and students have studied the dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet as it responds to a warming climate. But while much of their focus has been on the importance of water in controlling processes occurring on the ice sheet, their most recent research findings have flipped the order of their thinking. Researchers discovered that changes to the ice sheet have an immediate impact on the groundwater underlying the Greenland island, an area larger than the state of Alaska.

How ‘ice needles’ weave patterns of stones in frozen landscapes

Wed, 10/06/2021 - 12:49
Experiments and modeling work offers new insights into the striking patterns of repeating stones seen in frost-prone landscapes.

Early human activities impacted Earth’s atmosphere more than previously known

Wed, 10/06/2021 - 10:26
An international team of scientists used data from Antarctic ice cores to trace a 700-year old increase in black carbon to an unlikely source: ancient Maori land-burning practices in New Zealand, conducted at a scale that impacted the atmosphere across much of the Southern Hemisphere and dwarfed other preindustrial emissions in the region during the past 2,000 years. Their results make it clear that human activities have impacted Earth's atmosphere and climate earlier and at larger scales than previously known.

Hidden mangrove forest in the Yucatan peninsula reveals ancient sea levels

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 14:37
Deep in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, an ancient mangrove ecosystem flourishes more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the nearest ocean. This is unusual because mangroves -- salt-tolerant trees, shrubs, and palms -- are typically found along tropical and subtropical coastlines.

Weddell seal count: Fewer seals than previously thought

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 14:37
A research team has completed a global population estimate of Weddell seals in Antarctica, showing that there are significantly fewer seals than previously thought. Documenting the seals' population trends over time will help scientists better understand the effects of climate change and commercial fishing.

Scientists use nuclear physics to probe Floridan Aquifer threatened by climate change

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 15:04
Scientists used a nuclear dating technique to study the dynamics of the Floridan Aquifer. The findings show the promise of this emerging technique to help understand geological processes and to forecast the effects of climate change on coastal aquifers.

Seismic forensics and its importance for early warning

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 13:37
The catastrophic rockslide of February 7, 2021, in India's Dhauli Ganga Valley and the subsequent flood killed at least a hundred people and destroyed two hydroelectric power plants. Researchers traced the disaster minute by minute using data from a network of seismometers. The team posits that seismic networks could be used to establish an early warning system for high mountain regions.

What the fate of ancient cities can teach us about surviving climate change

Tue, 09/28/2021 - 09:22
Why did some ancient Khmer and Mesoamerican cities collapse between 900-1500CE, while their rural surrounds continued to prosper? Intentional adaptation to climate changed conditions may be the answer, suggests a new study.

Major ocean current could warm greatly

Tue, 09/28/2021 - 09:22
A new study found that the Kuroshio Current Extension is sensitive to global climate change and has the potential to warm greatly with increased carbon dioxide levels.

Additional threat to Antarctica’s floating ice shelves

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 14:05
Ice melange, a slushy mixture of snow and ice chunks, can heal large rifts in Antarctica's ice shelves. Researchers found that a thinning of ice melange may have enabled a Delaware-sized iceberg to break off from the Larsen C ice shelf in 2017. A new article has the scientists' analysis of the dynamics behind large iceberg calving events.

Geologists solve half-century-old mystery of animal traces in ancient rocks

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 14:04
Geologists have been baffled by perforations in an Australian quartzite (rock), identical in shape to burrows made in sands by crustaceans; the original sandy sediment is a billion years older than the oldest known animals. An international team of scientists has now resolved the mystery.

Earliest evidence of human activity found in the Americas

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 15:13
Footprints at White Sands National Park in New Mexico confirm human presence over at least two millennia, with the oldest tracks dating back 23,000 years.

Artificial intelligence may be set to reveal climate-change tipping points

Thu, 09/23/2021 - 07:29
Researchers are developing artificial intelligence that could assess climate change tipping points. The deep learning algorithm could act as an early warning system against runaway climate change.

Over 120 scientific experts’ global ocean report shows unprecedented climate change impact, as Arctic registers record low ice levels

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 19:18
Arctic ice levels logged in the last two years have reached record lows, whilst per decade have -- on average since 1979 to 2020 -- dropped by nearly 13%, a new vast report on the ocean worldwide shows.

Records from Lake Magadi, Kenya, suggest environmental variability driven by changes in Earth’s orbit

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 12:43
Rift Valley lakes within eastern Africa range from freshwater to highly alkaline systems and are homes to diverse ecosystems. These Rift Valley lakes are also sedimentary repositories, yielding a high-resolution environmental record that can be targeted to better understand the environmental and climatic context of human evolution over the past few million years in eastern Africa.

How do higher waves cause more ice clouds? Research expedition into arctic sea explains

Fri, 09/17/2021 - 08:04
Global warming is causing a rapid decline in sea-ice area, which affects weather patterns and, surprisingly, increases wave height in the Arctic. In a new study, Japanese scientists analyzed data from a 2018 research expedition into Chukchi Sea to demonstrate the peculiar link that exists between sea spray induced by high waves and the formation of ice-containing clouds. Their results pave the way for more accurate climate change and sea-ice models.

New ocean temperature data help scientists make their hot predictions

Tue, 09/14/2021 - 09:00
So many climate models, so little time ... A new way of measuring ocean temperatures helps scientists sort the likely from unlikely scenarios of global warming.