Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
Research sheds light on end of Snowball Earth period
by Staff Writers
Birmingham UK (SPX) Aug 25, 2015


illustration only

The second ice age during the Cryogenian period was not followed by the sudden and chaotic melting-back of the ice as previously thought, but ended with regular advances and retreats of the ice, according to research published by scientists from the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The researchers also found that the constant advance and retreat of ice during this period was caused by the Earth wobbling on its axis.

These ice ages are explained by a theory of Snowball Earth, which says that they represent the most extreme climatic conditions the world has ever known and yet they ended quite abruptly 635 million years ago. Little was known about how they ended - until now.

For the study, the scientists analysed sedimentary rocks from Svalbard, Norway that were laid down in that ice age. The deposits preserved a chemical record which showed high levels of CO2 were present in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide was low when the ice age started, and built up slowly over millions of years when the whole Earth was very cold - this period is represented only by frost-shattered rubble under the sediments.

Eventually the greenhouse warmth in the atmosphere from carbon dioxide caused enough melting for glaciers to erode, transport and deposit sediment. The sedimentary layers showed ice retreat and advance as well as cold arid conditions. They reveal a time when glacial advances alternated with even more arid, chilly periods and when the glaciers retreated, rivers flowed, lakes formed, and yet simple life survived.

As theory predicts, this icy Earth with a hot atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide had reached a 'Goldilocks' zone - too warm to stay completely frozen, too cold to lose its ice, but just right to record more subtle underlying causes of ancient climate change.

The geological researchers invited a French group of physicists who produce sophisticated climate models to test their theory that the advances and retreats of ice during this period were caused by the Earth wobbling on its axis in 20,000 year periods. The rocks and the models agreed: slight wobbles of the Earth on its spin axis caused differences in the heat received at different places on the Earth's surface.

These changes were small, but enough over thousands of years to cause a change in the places where snow accumulated or melted, leading the glaciers to advance and retreat. During this time the whole Earth would have looked like the Dry Valley regions of Antarctica - a very dry landscape, with lots of bare ground, but also containing glaciers up to 3 km thick.

Professor Ian Fairchild, lead investigator from the University of Birmingham's School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: 'We now have a much richer story about what happened at the end of the Snowball Earth period. The sediment analysis has given us a unique window on what happened so many millions of years ago. We know that the Earth's climate is controlled by its orbit, and we can now see the effect of that in this ancient ice age too.'


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Birmingham
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Case closed, says study: C02 melted Ice Age glaciers
Paris (AFP) Aug 21, 2015
Greenhouse gases were the driving force behind global glacier retreat at the end of the last Ice Age, echoing current climate change, according to a study published Friday. More than 11,000 years later, the researchers say, global warming is on track to wipe out 80-90 percent of remaining glaciers within a few hundred years unless carbon dioxide emissions are held in check. Such an outco ... read more


ICE WORLD
LADEE spacecraft finds neon in lunar atmosphere

Crowdfunding raises $720,000 to restore Neil Armstrong spacesuit

Japanese Company to Advertise Soft Drink on Moon

From a million miles away, NASA camera shows moon crossing face of Earth

ICE WORLD
NASA can send your name to Mars

How Much Contamination is Okay on Mars 2020 Rover?

One Decade after Launch, Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong

One Decade after Launch, Mars Orbiter Still Going Strong

ICE WORLD
Springer retracts 64 scientific papers with fake peer reviews

Going Up! Elevator to Space Just Became Real

Orion Begins Critical Design Review Milestone

First Time Ever: ISS Crew Eats Food Grown in Outer Space

ICE WORLD
China's space exploration potential has US chasing its own tail

China to deploy space-air-ground sensors for environment protection

Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

Cooperation in satellite technology put Belgium, China to forefront

ICE WORLD
Stork Set to Make Special ISS Delivery

ULA to launch 2nd Cygnus spacecraft to ISS on Cargo Mission

Electrical Glitch in US Sector of ISS Fixed

First Use of ISS Astronaut Pictures for Light Pollution Studies

ICE WORLD
Arianespace integrates EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 for Ariane 5 launch

EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 set for Ariane 5 launch

NASA rocket launches UH's scientific payload into space

NASA selects contractor to prepare launch structure for SLS

ICE WORLD
Solar System formation don't mean a thing without that spin

Gemini-discovered world is most like Jupiter

Methane, water enshroud nearby Jupiter-like exoplanet

Astronomers discover 'young Jupiter' exoplanet

ICE WORLD
Programming and prejudice

Advancing the Next Revolution of "Stuff"

Lockheed Martin to Cooperate With Danish Company on Missile Defense Radar

Scientists achieve major breakthrough in thin-film magnetism




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.