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New study shows Antarctic climate even gripped the tropics


knocker

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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

 

New details of a nightmare period on Earth with surface conditions as frigid as present-day central Antarctica at the equator have been revealed thanks to the publication of a study of ancient glacier water.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-04-snowball-earth-antarctic-climate-thetropics.html#jCp

 

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An interesting thought which I have looked into a little bit - one of the most likely causes appears to be extensive volcanic action with the particulates thrown into the atmosphere cooling it down and allowing the ice sheets to extend north and south towards the equator and once the parallels of around 30 degrees north and south are reached it triggers a tipping point where the albedo effect reflects more energy than what the earth is receiving and as a consequence the whole earth becomes enveloped in ice. This is the simplified version though no doubt a number of different factors came into play as well, for example the positions of the continents.

 

During this glacial period there is no weathering as such to get rid of the CO2 in the atmosphere, so this gradually builds up to a stage where the ice starts to melt with the greenhouse effect and reaching the tipping points in reverse, eventually getting back to a warm period.

 

Since it has only happened twice in a period of 4.5 billion years I don't think it will happen again anytime soon, in fact with the greenhouse gases we are going in the opposite direction.

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