A new study from a team of French researchers from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/Université Paris Diderot) working on conjunction with scientists from Brazil and the United States has challenged the belief that Earth was completely covered in ice 635 million years ago, creating what is now colloquially known as the Snowball Earth hypothesis.
As we near 2011, I know I must try to prepare myself for 2012, and the (next) wave of apocalyptic doom-saying that, according to the ‘fin-de-cyclists’, was predicted by the ancient Mayan mathematicians over 3 thousand years ago. Of course, they never predicted an End, per se, it’s just that they only extended their 260
A team of geoscientists working on a separate geological project in South Australia accidentally stumbled upon the oldest evidence of animal life yet found. Previously, the oldest fossil evidence of non-unicellular, “hard bodied” life forms dates to about 550 million years ago. This new discovery pushes back the clock on animal life by 80 to 90 million years.
Apart from the major disruption in flight traffic and the economy, the Icelandic volcano eruption promises in the short-term to disrupt upper atmospheric circulation patterns and temperatures, with an additional impact due to sulfuric acid “nucleation” and subsequent acid rain. But the medium to long-term impacts of continuous, or increasing, volcanic eruptions is a matter of on-going scientific debate.