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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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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.

'Time-traveling' pathogens in melting permafrost pose likely risk to environment

Thu, 07/27/2023 - 20:16
Ancient pathogens that escape from melting permafrost have real potential to damage microbial communities and might potentially threaten human health, according to a new study.

New insights into the origin of the Indo-European languages

Thu, 07/27/2023 - 13:39
An international team of linguists and geneticists has achieved a significant breakthrough in our understanding of the origins of Indo-European, a family of languages spoken by nearly half of the world's population.

Arctic terns may navigate climate dangers

Wed, 07/26/2023 - 10:30
Arctic terns -- which fly on the longest migrations of any animal on Earth -- may be able to navigate the dangers posed by climate change, new research suggests.

Gloomy climate calculation: Scientists predict a collapse of the Atlantic ocean current to happen mid-century

Tue, 07/25/2023 - 11:31
Important ocean currents that redistribute heat, cold and precipitation between the tropics and the northernmost parts of the Atlantic region will shut down around the year 2060 if current greenhouse gas emissions persist. This is the conclusion based on new calculations that contradict the latest report from the IPCC.

Greenland melted recently, shows high risk of sea level rise today

Fri, 07/21/2023 - 10:31
A large portion of Greenland was an ice-free tundra landscape -- perhaps covered by trees and roaming woolly mammoths -- in the recent geologic past (about 416,000 years ago), a new study shows. The results help overturn a previous view that much of the Greenland ice sheet persisted for most of the last two and a half million years. Instead, moderate warming, from 424,000 to 374,000 years ago, led to dramatic melting. At that time, the melting of Greenland caused at least five feet of sea level rise, despite atmospheric levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide being far lower than today (280 vs. 420 ppm). This indicates that the ice sheet on Greenland may be more sensitive to human-caused climate change than previously understood -- and will be vulnerable to irreversible, rapid melting in coming centuries.

New radar technique lets scientists probe invisible ice sheet region on Earth and icy worlds

Wed, 07/12/2023 - 11:46
A new radar technique developed by a graduate student allows imaging of the upper few feet of ice sheets on Earth and icy worlds. The technique uses instruments on airplanes or satellites to survey large regions quickly. The upper few feet of ice sheets are important for measuring melt on Earth or looking for habitable environments on icy worlds. Previous airborne or satellite techniques could not image this narrow region in detail.

Crawford Lake, Canada, chosen as the primary marker to identify the start of the Anthropocene epoch

Tue, 07/11/2023 - 12:32
An international team of researchers has chosen the location which best represents the beginnings of what could be a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene Working Group have put forward Crawford Lake, in Canada, as a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) for the Anthropocene. A GSSP is an internationally agreed-upon reference point to show the start of a new geological period or epoch in layers of rock that have built up through the ages.

Arctic dust found to be a major source of particles that form ice crystals in Arctic low-level clouds

Fri, 07/07/2023 - 10:16
Scientists in Japan have used a global climate model to show that dust from land without snow cover in the Arctic is a major source of particles that form ice crystals in Arctic low-level clouds. This finding could help improve predictions of Arctic warming, which is suggested to be much faster than in other parts of the world.

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