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These Rocks May Hold Oldest Evidence of Life on Earth

Researchers say Greenland stromatolites are 3.7B years old

(Newser) - Researchers claim to have discovered evidence of life on Earth more than 200 million years before the oldest known fossils, the BBC reports. A layer of permanent snow melted away last spring on Greenland's Isua supracrustal belt, revealing a series of wavy peaks called stromatolites in the 3.7... More »

Danger Lurks in Abandoned Army Base Buried Beneath the Ice

Climate change could bring decades-old pollutants to the surface

(Newser) - Fifty years ago, the US Army abandoned a secretive nuclear facility built 40 feet below a Greenland ice sheet, Science reports. It left radioactive water, diesel fuel, human waste, and possibly PCBs buried with Camp Century—it believed forever. "The phrase they used was that the waste would be... More »

5 Countries May Make Seniors Go Back to School

To keep their skills current and the Nordic region a major player in global arena

(Newser) - A recently published 36-page report outlining proposals to improve working life in the five Nordic countries—Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway—has a proposal that Quartz says contains a "startling" word: "mandatory." Poul Nielson, a Danish politician given the task last year of preparing a labor... More »

14-Year-Old Adventurer Aims to Make History With Triple Trek

Jade Hameister departing for first leg of 'polar hat trick'

(Newser) - Jade Hameister might soon become the youngest person to travel to the ends of the Earth. The 14-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, is about to embark on a three-week trek to the North Pole that will see her skiing 140 miles across sea ice while pulling a sled that weighs as... More »

Greenland Is Getting Darker Before Our Very Eyes

The frosty island could soon be 10% darker than it is today

(Newser) - The white, reflective surface of Greenland's snowpack is getting darker and less reflective, all thanks to what the Christian Science Monitor calls "positive feedback loops"—the idea that a little bit of melting leads to more and faster melting. "We knew that these processes had been... More »

Study Shows Clouds Are Bad News for Greenland Ice Sheet

'This is something we have to get right if we want to predict the future'

(Newser) - There's a literal cloud hanging over the rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet. That's because a new study published Tuesday in Nature Communications reveals exactly how clouds are exacerbating the problem. Cloud cover over the ice sheet causes 56 billion tons of meltwater runoff every year, up to a... More »

Warming Arctic Is Big Trouble for Caribou in Unexpected Way

Mosquitoes are swarming earlier than ever, and they can kill calves

(Newser) - Global warming in the Arctic means earlier and more plentiful mosquitoes in Greenland, and that's bad news for the country's already shrinking caribou population, Alaska Dispatch News reports. A new study found that for every degree Celsius the temperature rises in Greenland, mosquitoes take 10% less time to... More »

All Antarctic Ice Would Melt If We Burned All Fossil Fuels

Seas could rise 160 feet: study

(Newser) - If we were to burn all of the planet's fossil fuel reserves, we would be saying goodbye to the entire Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. That's the takeaway from an international study announced today, Reuters reports. "To be blunt: If we burn it all, we melt it... More »

Greenland's Vikings Weren't Farmers, They Were Walrus Hunters

They apparently had a lucrative ivory trade going on: researchers

(Newser) - For a long time, scientists wondered why Vikings settled in Greenland as farmers, since livestock doesn't thrive there and the growing season is truncated, notes Hakai Magazine . But while speculation as to why they eventually abandoned the island territory range from climate change to soil erosion , researchers now think... More »

Mystery of Vanishing Glacial Lakes Solved

Meltwater causes tension on lake bottoms, spawning hydrofractures

(Newser) - For years, scientists have known glacial lakes can rapidly empty themselves of billions of gallons of water—in at least one case, faster than the speed at which water flows over Niagara Falls. Now, they finally know how it's done. Researchers had guessed that the weight of the water... More »

Under Greenland's Ice: Soil Older Than Mankind

Land mass once home to forests

(Newser) - The soil under the highest point of the Greenland Ice Sheet, scientists have learned, is 2.7 million years old, LiveScience reports. In other words, the silt buried under thousands of feet of ice "has been preserved from beyond the dawn of humankind," says Paul Bierman, who determined... More »

Study Sinks One Titanic Iceberg Theory

1912 wasn't a year packed with huge crop of icebergs

(Newser) - The year the Titanic sank wasn't one with "an enormously large crop of icebergs" as has long been believed, according to new research. Researchers who analyzed Coast Guard data going back to 1900 found that 1912 had a relatively large but by no means exceptional number of icebergs... More »

Last Stable Part of Greenland Ice Sheet No Longer Stable

It's losing 10B tons of ice every year

(Newser) - A startling change uncovered in the world's second-largest ice sheet means rising sea levels are set to accelerate, researchers warn. A new study finds that the northeast Greenland ice sheet, once thought to be the only remaining stable part of the ice sheet, has been shedding a staggering 10... More »

Titanic-Sinking Glacier Hits Record Speed

Greenland ice movement is bad news for sea levels

(Newser) - The glacier that spawned the iceberg that sank the Titanic isn't deliberately trying to send thousands more people to watery graves—but it couldn't be doing much better if it was. Researchers say that as the Arctic warms, Greenland's Jakobshavn glacier has become the fastest-moving glacier in... More »

Big Find Under Greenland's Snow: 100B Tons of Water

Snow insulates it, keeping it liquid year-round, say researchers

(Newser) - As far as discoveries go, this one is literally huge: An aquifer holding more than 100 billion tons of water that covers an area larger than West Virginia has been discovered beneath Greenland's snow-covered ice sheet. And it caught the researchers who stumbled on it in 2011 off-guard, with... More »

For Early Plague in Europe, Blame Halley's Comet?

Scientists think piece hit Earth in 530 AD, caused drought and famine

(Newser) - Halley's Comet provided more than just a light show for residents of planet Earth in the year 530 AD—a chunk of it may have slammed into Greenland, creating such a massive dust storm in the atmosphere that it triggered drought, famine, and possibly even the first recorded instance... More »

2.6K Feet Below Greenland Ice Sheet, 2 Huge Lakes

Researchers discover first subglacial lakes in Greenland

(Newser) - For the first time, researchers have discovered lakes underneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. The two newly identified subglacial lakes each measure about 8 to 10 square kilometers, and are nearly 2,625 feet below the surface, according to Science World Report . They were likely much bigger—three times bigger—in... More »

Scientists Accidentally Discover Even Grander Canyon

In Greenland, but no one's ever seen it

(Newser) - Scientists have—totally by accident—come across a hidden canyon that dwarfs the Grand one, the BBC reports. The researchers were using radar to map out Greenland's bedrock when they stumbled upon the 2,625-foot deep feature, which, at 500 miles, is longer than the Grand Canyon's 277... More »

'Frankly Nutty' Arctic Adventure Ends in Tragedy

Philip Goodeve-Docker dies just days into trek across ice cap

(Newser) - Three British friends set out on "one of the great polar challenges"—a 400-mile trek across the planet's second largest ice cap—last Thursday. By Saturday, one of them was dead, reports the Telegraph . Philip Goodeve-Docker and his companions planned what Goodeve-Docker referred to as a "... More »

Despite 'Unremarkable' Temps, More Ice Melt Woes

Records set throughout the Arctic

(Newser) - Despite "unremarkable" temperatures across the Arctic over the past year, melting around the region continues to set records, reports LiveScience . Among the findings of the latest Arctic Report Card released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association yesterday (its largest such report since starting them in 2006):
  • Snow coverage
... More »

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