Not all glacial epoch are similarly ruthless. In the most severe glaciation events understood to science, ice extends from Earth’s polar areas and extends all the method into lower latitudes, actually improving the face of the world.
Evidence for such impressive shifts can be discovered in the geologic record, most just recently in powerful glaciations throughout theCryogenian period Scientists believe these severe cooling events had possibly worldwide reach and implications: a phenomenon called ‘Snowball Earth’.
But what on Earth could release such devastating, unrelenting cold that many – or all – of our world would wind up sheathed in a frozen sphere of ice and snow? While the precise triggers stay unidentified, scientists have now uncovered a brand-new theoretical description for how such a thing could take place.
“There are lots of ideas for what caused these global glaciations, but they all really boil down to some implicit modification of solar radiation coming in,” says planetary science scientist Constantin Arnscheidt from MIT.
“But generally it’s been studied in the context of crossing a threshold.”
In other words, the traditional description for how a Snowball Earth could take place is that, in some kind of catastrophic throwing of shade, a minimized quantity of sunlight would reach the surface area of the world, resulting …