Climate change is a notoriously unclickable topic, yet it undeniably captures our imagination, given how often it shows up as a central plot point in films. From Waterworld to the charming animated feature Ice Age, it just keeps coming back.
After it premiered with the Peanuts movie, Fox has put the short “Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe” up online. I have literally no feelings about any Ice Age character except Scrat, whose life is a reminder of the constant misery that is the pursuit of the simplest needs.
Recent headlines are warning that the Earth will enter into a “mini ice age” in about 20 years because the sun is heading towards a period of very low output. Here’s why this scenario is extremely unlikely.
Our dynamic planet has an apparent paradox: the more ice melts from landlocked glaciers, the lower the sea level gets in nearby areas. How does this happen? Through the physics of isostatic rebound, when the surface of the planet acts as an elastic sheet dimpling and rebounding under changing loads.
For any band, shifting musical direction is a huge moment. For some it definitely works—could you imagine The Beatles pumping out A Hard Day's Night clones for decades?–and for others, even iconic musicians, it can be an earsplitting disaster.
A 65-foot deep shaft being dug for Los Angeles's newest subway line is filled with buried treasure. The so-called Subway to the Sea is still nine miles from the beach, but excavation has already revealed some creatures from the ocean floor… the prehistoric ocean floor!
They look like the work of a twisted science artist. Some maniac who spent hours dreaming up nightmare shapes made of ice. But no, these monstrous and lovely ice sculptures were formed by natural processes. Here are some of the most other-worldly ice formations on Earth.
Since our planet was born, it's gone through periods of extreme cold known as ice ages—but you might not realise just how of the cold stuff came with them. Spoiler: a lot.
There was a time on Earth, about 635 million years ago, when almost the entire planet was covered in ice. At least, this is the idea underlying the Snowball Earth Hypothesis, which holds that there was a massive ice age before the proliferation of complex, multicellular life. Though it's still controversial,…
10,000 years ago, at a time when humans recorded historical events by telling mythical stories that got passed from one generation to the next, huge parts of the North American continent were deluged by massive walls of water. They were, as geologist David R. Montgomery writes in this month's Discover magazine,…
We sort of have a soft spot in our hearts for all the Ice Age animals. And the latest addition Ice Age: Continental Drift looks even more ridiculous than the last. Watch as the world breaks apart, separating the furry besties and creating our planet's continents. Plus, giant prehistoric crabs! Ice Age: Continental…
The Beasts of the Southern Wild is very much one of the most buzzed films at Sundance right now. Everyone either loves it or respects it greatly. Whether or not this movie about a young girl facing a flood and terrible hog-monsters catches on with a wider audience remains to be seen — but I feel confident saying that…
Siberia enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the coldest places on Earth. But the last time the planet got really cold, Siberia apparently didn't go along for the ride, providing animals a warm oasis from the Ice Age.
Newly discovered fossilized remains from Argentina are a bizarre new species that can only be described as a "sabre-toothed squirrel".
Hidden in the dark caves of southwest China, a fragment of Earth's last Ice Age might well survive. Sadly, there aren't any mammoths hiding out in there, but tiny plants might represent a last link to 30,000 years ago.
The most recent ice age was dominated by gigantic mammals like the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, and saber-tooth cat. But there's an evolutionary mystery here. How did these animals enter the ice age already perfectly adapted for such brutally cold climates?
The Ice Age can be explained by some well-placed specks of iron. Adding dust to the waters around Antarctica can supercharge plankton growth, causing global temperature drops. To stop climate change, we need a whole lot of iron filings.
The Sun has been unusually quiet lately, with the solar wind the slowest it's been in 50 years and the sunspot cycle reduced to nothing more than the occasional belch. But don't believe reports that this spells doom for humanity.
Bones recently excavated at a cave in Southwestern England show that some 14,700 years ago, people used human skulls as cups. The people of the Ice Age even had the decency to clean the skulls of any soft tissue and use stone tools to shape the skulls to be more cup-like. Resourceful, I guess. [PLoS One via Wired]
Everyone knows disaster movies are totally unrealistic — massive climate change doesn't just happen in a few months, right? Wrong. Some Canadian scientists have figured out that it did once, and very easily could again.