Thursday, January 17, 2008

Purple earth and snowball earth

Links to read more on topics from todays lecture.

The appropriately named 'Snowball Earth' website is the go-to place for all your snowball earth information needs. But you should be aware that it is the work of a 'pro-snowball' scientist. The wikipedia article on snowball earth has a good discussion of both the evidence for and against the theory. Here's the news report from, earlier last year that I was thinking of when I said there was some recent evidence against this theory. There are a bunch more links to related stories, half way down on the right. As you can see this is quite a hot topic (no pun intended).

There's a nice article on the purple earth hypothesis here, also from 2007. Here's a similar article that focuses more on the implications for finding life on other planets.

"When we look at these faraway planets, we're not going to be able to spatially resolve them. We won't be able to see continents and oceans. Everything we must learn about that planet will be in a single dot of light."

Finally, the giant sulphur bacteria I briefly mentioned was only discovered in 1999! Here's the original research report from Science and a nice editorial news summary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I propose that the “snowball Earth” was brought to a close by the dust from a huge meteorite (the largest known on Earth) impacting Australia settling onto the ice and melting it by a bare soil warming affect (see ) and thus initiating the Cambrian. The dust fertilizing the ocean probably contributed considerably to the explosion of life then. That initiation was probably considerably assisted by the subsequent release of methane gas from methane ice under the ocean floor and by dust from volcanic eruptions from the Bahamas Islands, which are located at the antipode (opposite side of a sphere) of the above impact. (see for a discussion of that antipode phenomena. Also see for a discussion of Connelly’s discovery of the crater.) The close correlation of volcanoes on Mars with meteorite impacts at their antipodes gives supporting evidence for such a phenomenon.
(see ) for Mars. For a discussion of Earth phenomena see .
Sincerely, Charles Weber