HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Tropical glaciers formed while earth was giant snowball

Boston, Mass. Glacial deposits that formed on tropical land areas during snowball Earth episodes around 600 million years ago, lead to questions about how the glaciers that left the deposits were created. Now, Penn State geoscientists believe that these glaciers could only have formed after the Earth's oceans were entirely covered by thick sea ice.

"There is strong geologic evidence of tropical glaciation at sea level during those times," Dr. David Pollard, research associate, Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Environmental Institute, told attendees at the spring meeting of the American Geophysical Union today (May 29) in Boston. "We wanted to determine how low-level tropical glaciers could have formed."

Ice can accumulate in the tropics only if temperatures are below freezing or around freezing with large amounts of snowfall. Tropical glaciers exist today only on high mountain peaks such as the Andes and Mt. Kilimanjaro, and do not reach anywhere near sea level. Pollard and James K. Kasting, professor of geosciences, first looked at the possibility that tropical ice sheets formed before the oceans completely froze into a snowball Earth, when equatorial oceans were still ice-free and could supply enough moisture for substantial snowfall.

During the lead-up to a snowball Earth episode, the Earth gradually cools because the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere decreases. Relatively fast weathering of silicate rocks on large tropical landmasses causes this decrease that locks up carbon. As the earth cools, the oceans begin freezing. The high reflectivity of the snow and ice that covers the northern and southern oceans, reflects, rather than absorbs, the sun's heat and further cools the planet. This cooling takes place slowly until the oceans are frozen to about 30 degrees latitude, or from the North Pole down to New Orleans, La. and from the South Pole up to the tip of South Africa.

"This is the
'"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
31-May-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Tropical legume could be alternative hay/forage crop for Texas
2. Tropical deforestation and global warming
3. Arthropods of Tropical Forests
4. Tropical Science for the 21st Century
5. A Magic Web: The Tropical Forest of Barro Colorado
6. Ira Rubinoff honored by the Association for Tropical Biology
7. Tropical forests under surveillance
8. Tropical scientists find fewer species than expected
9. Sessions on bioterrorism featured at Tropical Medicine Meeting
10. Chemistry in the Amazon: Tropical birds, Amazonian tribespeople derive medicinal benefits from insects, plants
11. Tropical tree distribution could have implications for forest management, conservation

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... choice when it comes to expanding freedom for high ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there ... online conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal ... are obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission ... hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. ... multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess the ... subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... as a single dose (ranging from 45 to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ Composite ... Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at 17,780.83; ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ), ... more about these stocks by accessing their free trade alerts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... introduce a new line of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for ... September 12–17 in Chicago. The result of a collaboration among several companies with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: