The Snowball Earth Could Make for Permanent Ski Conditions
Posted by greg2213 on March 6, 2010
If you Google (or Bing or Y!) Snowball Earth (or go here) you’ll find something akin to the following idea. Some 700+ million year ago the Earth was covered in ice. That ice extended all the way to the equator. Some say it’s happened at least twice. Around 715 million year back and again at around 600 million years.
WUWT has a post in the subject: “sea ice extended to the equator 716.5 million years ago” Fascinating stuff, i think. It’s also likely that CO2 was far higher in those days, so why did it the world freeze over? There have been a few other ice ages since then, long before the current set, despite higher CO2.The article doesn’t actually say anything about CO2, though the graphic does.
I’ve seen some remarks by Geologists who suggest that land-masses at the poles are necessary for ice ages, along with certain formations of the continents. Circulation is cut off and the world cools. Enough ice forms, albedo increases, the cooling accelerates, and you have an ice age (I’m way over simplifying here.)
The article and the commenters raise some questions:
- Are there any papers which contradict the idea? One commenter said a paper has already debunked it.
- Are there any other hypotheses that would explain the scientists’ observations? Axial tilt? Weaker sun combined with…? Asteroid hit causing massive planet-wide volcanic activity, combined with the correct placement of the land masses?
- The article admits that they don’t know the triggering causes for the Earth becoming a snowball, or for leaving that phase, though there is a vast igneous province that suspiciously dates to about the same time. Super volcano?
- A commenter says that while Geologists generally believe that CAGW is complete bunk, biologists are believers. Why? I have a biology degree (ancient, moldy, but still there.) I’d think that biologists would be the first group to be hollering that more CO2 is a good thing and that life shows remarkable adaptability.
- Another commenter states that when the current series of ice ages ends (in a few million years) CO2 will bounce back to a more normal 1200ppm to 2500 ppm. Why? Outgassing from the oceans?