Saturday, May 16, 2009

Controversial 'snowball earth' theory gets a boost

There's a controversial theory that the Earth was periodically frozen over from pole-to-pole called "Snowball Earth." It's a fascinating thought, terrific fodder for Hollywood movies, but evidence for the theory has always been on thin ice.

However, a new study suggests a sudden, dramatic crash in volcanic activity may have caused the snowballing of planet earth. (
New Scientist)

Between 2.45 and 2.2 billion years ago, scientists have noticed a sudden drop in volcanic activity via the geologic record, "but it was widely assumed the gap would vanish as more samples were dated." Well, that ain't happening. So scientists are starting to consider what would have caused the fall in volcanic activity (a mysterious pause in tectonic activity, for example) and its consequences (perhaps a snowballed planet).

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.