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Read science articles on the ice age, glaciation and climatology. Discover the connection between ice ages and global warming.
Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago

Past global photosynthesis reacted quickly to more carbon in the air

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 13:37
Ice cores allow climate researchers to look 800,000 years back in time: atmospheric carbon acts as fertilizer, increasing biological production. The mechanism removes carbon from the air and thereby dampens the acceleration in global warming.

New observations from ICESat-2 show remarkable Arctic sea ice thinning in just three years

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 13:37
Over the past two decades, the Arctic has lost about one-third of its winter sea ice volume, largely due to a decline in sea ice that persists over several years, called multiyear ice, according to a new study. The study also found sea ice is likely thinner than previous estimates. Seasonal sea ice, which melts completely each summer rather than accumulating over years, is replacing thicker, multiyear ice and driving sea ice thinning trends, according to the new research.

Ice-ocean interactions are accelerating melting in West Antarctica

Thu, 03/10/2022 - 13:37
An analysis of Antarctica's Pope, Smith and Kohler glaciers has revealed an aggressive pattern of retreat connected to high melt rates of floating ice in the Amundsen Sea Embayment sector of West Antarctica.

Giant impact crater in Greenland occurred a few million years after dinosaurs went extinct

Wed, 03/09/2022 - 13:08
Danish and Swedish researchers have dated the enormous Hiawatha impact crater, a 31 km-wide meteorite crater buried under a kilometer of Greenlandic ice. The dating ends speculation that the meteorite impacted after the appearance of humans and opens up a new understanding of Earth's evolution in the post-dinosaur era.

CO2 could be stored below ocean floor

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 10:31
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. To combat its potentially catastrophic effects, scientists are searching for new technologies that could help the world reach carbon neutrality. One potential solution that is drawing growing attention is to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the form of hydrates under ocean floor sediments, kept in place by the natural pressure created by the weight of the seawater above. A major question, however, has been how stable this stored CO2 would be for the extended periods of storage required to keep the carbon in place and out of the atmosphere. A research team has shown that CO2 hydrates, under the ocean's cold and high-pressure environment, can remain stable in oceanic sediments for up to 30 days. Going forward, the team says, the same process can be used to validate the stability of CO2 hydrates for much longer periods.

New technique unlocks ancient history of Earth from grains of sand

Tue, 03/01/2022 - 12:11
Researchers have developed a new technique by studying the age of ancient grains of sand from beaches, rivers and rocks from around the world to reveal previously hidden details of the Earth's distant geological past.

Seismic study reveals key reason why Patagonia is rising as glaciers melt

Mon, 02/28/2022 - 08:11
Geologists have discovered a link between recent ice mass loss, rapid rock uplift and a gap between tectonic plates that underlie Patagonia.

Ancient DNA reveals surprises about how early Africans lived, traveled and interacted

Wed, 02/23/2022 - 10:12
A new analysis of human remains that were buried in African archaeological sites has produced the earliest DNA from the continent, telling a fascinating tale of how early humans lived, traveled and even found their significant others.

Monitoring Arctic permafrost with satellites, supercomputers, and deep learning

Tue, 02/22/2022 - 12:54
Using deep learning and supercomputers, researchers have been able to identify and map 1.2 billion ice wedge polygons in the Arctic permafrost based on satellite imagery. The data helps establish a baseline from which to detect changes to the region. The researchers trained a deep learning system to identify Arctic features and TACC's Longhorn supercomputer to analyze the data. The ice wedge data will be available for rapid analysis on the new Permafrost Discovery Gateway.

Accelerating melt rate makes Greenland Ice Sheet world’s largest ‘dam’

Mon, 02/21/2022 - 14:52
The world's second-largest ice sheet is melting from the bottom up -- and generating huge amounts of heat from hydropower.

The formation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was very different than previously believed

Mon, 02/21/2022 - 07:57
Roughly 35 million years ago, Earth cooled rapidly. At roughly the same time, the Drake Passage formed between South America and the Antarctic, paving the way for the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Thanks to these two factors, Antarctica was soon completely covered in ice. This massive glaciation was delayed in at least one region.

Unexpected fish and squid found in the Central Arctic Ocean

Fri, 02/18/2022 - 14:30
Single individuals of Atlantic cod and squid occur much further north than previously expected. Scientists have found fish and squid in deep water in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Sediment cores from ocean floor could contain 23-million-year-old climate change clues

Thu, 02/17/2022 - 12:19
Sediment cores taken from the Southern Ocean dating back 23 million years are providing insight into how ancient methane escaping from the seafloor could have led to regional or global climate and environmental changes, according to a new study.

'Blue Blob' near Iceland could slow glacial melting

Tue, 02/15/2022 - 12:46
A region of cooling water in the North Atlantic Ocean near Iceland, nicknamed the 'Blue Blob,' has likely slowed the melting of the island's glaciers since 2011 and may continue to stymie ice loss until about 2050, according to new research.

Driving conservation efforts with DNA data

Tue, 02/15/2022 - 11:55
An international team of conservation experts has revealed how ancient and historical DNA (a/hDNA), such as genetic data from specimens stored in natural history museums, can be used to assess population genetic patterns and processes that are relevant for endangered species.

Ending the debate: New research solves longstanding Antarctic climate change mystery

Mon, 02/14/2022 - 17:33
New research definitively resolves a long-standing discrepancy in the geologic record that pitted studies of marine ice-sheet behavior against those that reconstructed past conditions on land. The research lends additional weight to evidence that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is sensitive to small changes in carbon dioxide levels and that, in the past, large portions of the ice sheet could have disappeared under carbon dioxide levels similar to today.

Tilting of Earth’s crust governed the flow of ancient megafloods

Mon, 02/14/2022 - 14:48
As ice sheets began melting at the end of the last ice age, a series of cataclysmic floods called the Missoula megafloods scoured the landscape of eastern Washington, carving long, deep channels and towering cliffs through an area now known as the Channeled Scablands. They were among the largest known floods in Earth's history, and geologists struggling to reconstruct them have now identified a crucial factor governing their flows. A new study shows how the changing weight of the ice sheets would have caused the entire landscape to tilt, changing the course of the megafloods.

How climate change is destroying Arctic coasts

Mon, 02/14/2022 - 10:17
Global warming is causing permafrost in the Arctic to thaw and sea ice to melt. As a result, coasts are less protected and are being eroded, while carbon stored in the soil and carbon dioxide are being released into the ocean and atmosphere. In a first, researchers have now calculated the future scale of these processes for the entire Arctic. Their conclusion: each degree of warming accelerates them considerably.

Seawater seep may be speeding glacier melt, sea level rise

Thu, 02/10/2022 - 14:41
A new study projects that warm seawater seeping under certain glaciers could eventually lead to future sea level rise that's double that of existing estimates.

New technique will improve the construction of ice roads and bridges

Thu, 02/10/2022 - 07:49
A new study found that measuring the time it takes for a radar pulse to travel from a satellite to the sea surface and back again can reveal the thickness of river ice and dates when it is safe to travel on ice roads and bridges in Arctic regions.