Latest Snowball Earth Stories
Scientists announced on Wednesday the discovery of the earliest evidence of animal life to date.
An abrupt release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from ice sheets that extended to Earth's low latitudes some 635 million years ago caused a dramatic shift in climate.
Two and a half billion years ago, when our evolutionary ancestors were little more than a twinkle in a bacterium's plasma membrane, the process known as photosynthesis suddenly gained the ability to release molecular oxygen into Earth's atmosphere, causing one of the largest environmental changes in the history of our planet.
It has been 2.3 billion years since Earth's atmosphere became infused with enough oxygen to support life as we know it. About the same time, the planet became encased in ice that some scientists speculate was more than a half-mile deep.
Researchers from the Universitat AutÃ²noma de Barcelona and Durham University (UK) have discovered that a million years ago, global climate changes occurred due to changes in tropical circulation in the Pacific similar to those caused by El NiÃ±o today. Changes in atmospheric circulation caused variations in heat fluxes and moisture transport, triggering a large expansion of the polar ice sheets and a reorganisation of the Earth's climate. The discovery, published in Geology, shows that...
A study that applied innovative techniques to previously unexamined rock formations has turned up strong evidence on the "Slushball Earth" side of a decades-long scientific argument.
For several years geologists have been gathering evidence indicating that Earth has gone into a deep freeze on several occasions, with ice covering even the equator and with potentially devastating consequences for life. The theory, known as "Snowball Earth," has been lacking a good explanation for what triggered the global glaciations.
The June issue of GEOLOGY covers a wide variety of potentially newsworthy subjects.
The Neoproterozoic is the third of three subdivisions of the Proterozoic Eon (occurring from 1 billion years ago to 542 million years ago). This terminal era of the Proterozoic is itself divided into three sub-periods called the Tonian, Cryogenian, and Ediacaran Periods. The most severe glaciation known in the geologic record occurred during the Cryogenian Period, when ice sheets reached the equator and formed a possible “Snowball Earth.” And the earliest fossils of multi-cellular life...
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