View of the Svinafell glacier with a glacial lagoon, part of Vatnajökull National Park, in eastern Iceland | Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ancient Icelandic Volcanoes May Have Hastened Ice Age Melting

Volcanic ash in the atmosphere cooled temperatures over Northern Europe, but once it fell to the surface, it sped up melting because dark ice absorbs incoming solar radiation.

James Lea (left) and Francesco Muschitiello drill into the ground to sample the sedimentary deposits of an ancient glacial lake in Sweden. | Francesco Muschitiello
Sediments deposited by ice sheet meltwater provide clues about ancient climates, as well as the future effects of global warming. | Francesco Muschitiello