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13 May 2019

La Niña’s effect on droughts can be traced back to U.S. Civil War

The Civil War drought – one of the worst to afflict the U.S. in centuries – occurred in the mid-1850s to the mid-1860s. That drought is infamous for its effects in the U.S. Southwest and parts of the Great Plains, where it led to the near extinction of the American bison and played an important role in changing the course of the Civil War by causing food and water shortages, slowing the advance of part of the Confederate army in 1862.


31 January 2019

Climate change could make corals go it alone

Climate change is bad news for coral reefs around the world, with high ocean temperatures causing widespread bleaching events that weaken and kill corals. However, new research finds corals with a solitary streak – preferring to live alone instead of in reef communities – could fare better than their group-dwelling relatives.


17 May 2018

Explaining the history of Australia’s vegetation

New research explores how plants using the more complex C4 photosynthetic pathway to create sugar from sunlight expanded to dominate the Australian continent, and how climate change is likely to affect these critically important native plants.


26 April 2018

New study finds glacial evidence for abrupt climate change

Results from a new study indicate that the physical impact of abrupt climate change in Britain, Ireland and maritime Europe may be markedly different from previous perceptions of these events.


13 March 2017

A perfect storm of fire and ice may have led to snowball Earth

Harvard University researchers have a new hypothesis about what caused the runaway glaciation that covered the Earth pole-to-pole in ice.


8 February 2017

Greenland Ice Sheet melting can cool subtropics and alter climate

A new study finds evidence that the last time Earth was as warm as it is today, cold freshwater from a melting Greenland Ice Sheet circulated in the Atlantic Ocean as far south as Bermuda, elevating sea levels and altering the ocean’s climate and ecosystems.


26 December 2016

Hot springs in California host snapshot of early Earth conditions

Conditions in the hot alkaline springs of Paoha Island in Mono Lake, California, could be similar to Earth’s pre-oxygen environment billions of years ago, according to new research. Studying the springs could help scientists better understand microbial biodiversity as it evolved in the early Earth atmosphere.


15 December 2016

Ancient monsoons helped prehistoric humans colonize Tibetan Plateau

Humans first colonized the Tibetan Plateau roughly 10,000 years ago when the climate warmed enough to bring heavy rains, new research finds.


14 December 2016

Lake sediments may be key to predicting melting sea ice in Canadian Arctic

Sediment layers from a lake in the western Canadian Arctic may hold the key to predicting sea-ice loss and warming Arctic temperatures, new research finds.