Saved by greenhouse gas?

<p>The greenhouse effect likely saved primitive life from extinction on a frigid "Snowball Earth" 700 million years ago, a University of Toronto expert in ancient climate concludes in research published today.</p>

 

Toronto professor says ancient earth saved by CO2


The greenhouse effect likely saved primitive life from extinction on a frigid "Snowball Earth" 700 million years ago, a University of Toronto expert in ancient climate concludes in research published today.

 

 

And that set the stage for the eventual explosion of species that produced today’s world, says Richard Peltier, a professor of atmospheric physics. Peltier says carbon dioxide produced from the decay of minute organic particles in the oceans warmed the ancient atmosphere enough to prevent the entire planet from being covered with massive sheets of ice, a controversial theory dubbed Snowball Earth when it was first proposed a decade ago.

 


"The biosphere defended itself against a hard-snowball catastrophe. The planet was actually closer to a slushball," he said.




















parallel periods




  • The researcher also pointed to a parallel between the Slushball Earth period and the past 150 years. In both cases the biosphere was controlling the climate, back then through the decay of organic particles and today through carbon dioxide emitted by human activities. For the rest of the world’s life, the reverse has been true.


 
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