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How a Greenhouse Catastrophe Killed Almost All Life

Earth's history knows catastrophes which are unimaginable for humans. For example, around 66 million years ago an asteroid impact marked the end of the dinosaur era.

Past Tropical Forest Changes Drove Megafauna and Hominin Extinctions

Researchers have found that the loss of these grasslands was instrumental in the extinction of many of the region's megafauna, and probably of ancient humans too.

Ice Discharge in North Pacific Set Off Series of Climate Events During Last Ice Age

Repeated catastrophic ice discharges from western North America into the North Pacific contributed to, and perhaps triggered, hemispheric-scale changes in the Earth's climate during the last ice age, new research published online today in Science reveals.

The Testimony of Trees: How Volcanic Eruptions Shaped 2000 Years of World History

Researchers have shown that over the past two thousand years, volcanoes have played a larger role in natural temperature variability than previously thought, and their climatic effects may have contributed to past societal and economic change.

Sea Ice Triggered the Little Ice Age

A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing.

Undersea Earthquakes Shake up Climate Science

Despite climate change being most obvious to people as unseasonably warm winter days or melting glaciers, as much as 95 percent of the extra heat trapped on Earth by greenhouse gases is held in the world's oceans.

Climate Changed in Steps in the Past

An international study published in Science significantly improves the potential for understanding how the Earth's climate system evolved over the past 66 million years.

How Cold Was the Ice Age? Researchers Now Know

A University of Arizona-led team has nailed down the temperature of the last ice age - the Last Glacial Maximum of 20,000 years ago - to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Historical Climate Changes Occurred Simultaneously in Several Parts of the World

A new study published by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and partner institutions has proven that repeated and abrupt climate changes during the last ice age occurred simultaneously in South America, Southeast Asia, Europe and Greenland.

Research Links Southeast Asia Megadrought to Drying in Africa

Physical evidence found in caves in Laos helps tell a story about a connection between the end of the Green Sahara, when once heavily vegetated Northern Africa became a hyper-arid landscape, and a previously unknown megadrought that crippled Southeast Asia 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Fossil Leaves Show High Atmospheric Carbon Spurred Ancient ‘Global Greening’

Scientists studying leaves from a 23-million-year-old forest have for the first time linked high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide with increased plant growth, and the hot climate off the time.

Innovative Method Opens up New Perspectives for Reconstructing Climatic Conditions of Past Eras

Corals precipitate their calcareous skeletons (calcium carbonate) from seawater. Over thousands of years, vast coral reefs form due to the deposition of this calcium carbonate.