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Bacteria froze the Earth, researchers say ~~ CO2 saved it....
Marketwatch CNET ^ | August 2, 2005, 5:15 PM PDT | Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Posted on 08/02/2005 9:27:19 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Bacteria froze the Earth, researchers say

By Michael Kanellos

http://marketwatch-cnet.com.com, marketwatch-cnet.com.com/Bacteria+froze+the+Earth%2C+researchers+say/2100-7337_3-5815965.html



Story last modified Tue Aug 02 17:15:00 PDT 2005


Humans apparently aren't the first species to change the climate of the planet. Bacteria living 2.3 billion years ago could have plunged the planet into deep freeze, researchers at the California Institute of Technology claim in a new report.

Several graduate students, along with supervising professor Joe Kirschvink, have released a paper presenting their explanation of what caused "Snowball Earth," a periodic deep freeze of Earth's atmosphere that has been theorized for years. The Caltech team argues that 2.3 billion years ago, cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, gained the ability to break down water, which in turn released a flood of oxygen into the atmosphere.

That oxygen reacted with the atmospheric methane, which insulated the Earth at the time, and broke it down. While the oxygen-methane reaction created the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, the protective nature of the barrier cracked.

Temperatures plunged to minus 50 degrees Celsius, and ice at the equator grew to 1 mile thick. Although this process took several million years, substantial damage to the methane layer could have occurred in the first 100,000 years.

Life-forms only recovered after microorganisms, clinging then to thermal vents or living underground, evolved the ability to consume oxygen and turn it into carbon dioxide.

It was a close call to a planetary destruction," said professor Kirschvink, who oversaw the project, in a prepared statement. "If Earth had been a bit further from the sun, the temperature at the poles could have dropped enough to freeze the carbon dioxide into dry ice, robbing us of this greenhouse escape from Snowball Earth."

Carbon dioxide concentrations became so high over millions of years that the temperature soared to 50 degrees Celsius. As the solar system aged, Earth's mood swings became less extreme.

Scientists have known for a number of years that Earth plunged into one of its periodic ice ages 2.3 billion years ago, a change reflected in glacially formed rocks in Canada. The cause, however, has been the subject of debate. Many experts have said that cyanobacteria evolved to break down water between 3.8 billion and 2.7 billion years ago, too early to cause the deep freeze.

The Caltech team believes the answer lies in the movement of glaciers at the time around the middle latitudes of the planet, which in part is borne out by magnetic readings of the Canadian rocks. The glaciers scraped iron, phosphorous and other nutrients off existing rocks. These ran into the ocean and provided food for a massive algal bloom.

"We could still go into Snowball if we goof up the environment badly enough," Kirschvink said. "We haven't had a Snowball in the past 630 million years, and because the sun is warmer now it may be harder to get into the right condition. But if it ever happens, all life on Earth would likely be destroyed. We could probably get out only by becoming a runaway greenhouse planet like Venus."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; climate; climatechange; glaciation; godsgravesglyphs; history; joekirschvink; oxygen; snowballearth; truepolarwander
Wonder who paid for this research.....
1 posted on 08/02/2005 9:27:20 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: NormsRevenge; BenLurkin


2 posted on 08/02/2005 9:28:54 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Yes, I wonder...

Okay, we did. There, you happy now? LOL


3 posted on 08/02/2005 9:29:02 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (US socialist liberalism would be dead without the help of politicians who claim to be conservative.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
change reflected in glacially formed rocks in Canada.

Huh? Glaciers form rocks now?

4 posted on 08/02/2005 9:33:02 PM PDT by konaice
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Another theory, for more recent ice ages:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1455668/posts


5 posted on 08/02/2005 9:36:38 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'chaim!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

So Global Warming saved the Earth?


6 posted on 08/02/2005 9:44:55 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Crush! Kill! Destroy the heathen!)
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To: konaice
Glaciers form rocks now?

"Glacially formed rocks" means pushed into their current configuration.

7 posted on 08/02/2005 9:50:53 PM PDT by Salman
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

You did, didn't you get the memo? LOL


8 posted on 08/02/2005 9:55:30 PM PDT by fish hawk (hollow points were made to hold pig lard)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

Yes, Global warming saved the Earth, keep driving your SUV>


9 posted on 08/02/2005 9:57:18 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Now I know that driving my SUV is doing my part for the salvation of mankind!


10 posted on 08/02/2005 9:58:57 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Crush! Kill! Destroy the heathen!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Hmmmm. They seem to be trying awfully hard to tie CO2 levels and temperature.

I don't see it. There is no correlation.

11 posted on 08/02/2005 9:59:42 PM PDT by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber! (50 million and counting in Afganistan and Iraq))
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To: PatrickHenry

snowball ping!


12 posted on 08/02/2005 10:03:08 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: PeaceBeWithYou

I don't see it there either.


13 posted on 08/02/2005 10:08:14 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (History is soon Forgotten,)
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To: PeaceBeWithYou
Milenkovich cycles do a better job of explaining the temperature variations on your graphic. Simple orbital mechanics that are completely independent of human activity.
14 posted on 08/02/2005 10:11:56 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
So Global Warming saved the Earth?

Well, up here in the Pacific Northwest, if it had not been for Global Warming, my property would be under a glacier right now.

15 posted on 08/02/2005 10:17:10 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: PeaceBeWithYou
There is controversy about how the research matches up (or doesn't), since it draws on different data in order to extrapolate climactic conditions of the past. In particular, that middle Mesozoic temperature is in dispute, because low latitude data from the Tropics suggest cooling (as shown by the graph) whereas high latitude data from nearer the Poles suggest warming. Also, temperature trends must be discerned from what is ultimately local data, whereas carbon dioxide levels can be determined from what is thought to be global data.

More importantly, this graph shows fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 in the hundreds and thousands of parts per million. Human activity is thought to increase CO2 annually at a rate merely 2 parts per million above what it would be otherwise. There is no real comparison. Meanwhile, there is also no serious dispute that carbon dioxide acts as a 'greenhouse gas' but it is hardly the only factor in determining the global climate. The far more important factor would seem to be tectonics and long-range variations in solar output IMHO.

16 posted on 08/02/2005 10:43:38 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: PeaceBeWithYou

"climactic" should be climatic.. I always screw that up!


17 posted on 08/02/2005 10:45:01 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Wacko and radical environmentalists are in a dilemma. They don't know if they should demonstrate or not outside the headquarters of the DNC, whose members are suspected to be direct descendants of those bacteria.


18 posted on 08/02/2005 11:00:50 PM PDT by citizencon
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach

Okay, Blam, Ernest, no ping for 'Civ? ;'}

Ice age bacteria brought back to life
www.NewScientist.com | 2/25/2005 | Kelly Young
Posted on 02/25/2005 12:57:59 PM PST by aimhigh
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1351150/posts

World-first technology enables study of ancient bacteria [Bermuda Triangle too]
Cardiff University via UrekAlert | 06 June 2005 | Professor R.John Parkes
Posted on 06/07/2005 4:18:16 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1417990/posts


19 posted on 08/03/2005 9:45:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.

Please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

20 posted on 08/03/2005 9:46:03 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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Catastrophism

21 posted on 05/14/2006 5:44:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: PeaceBeWithYou

Reminds me of the overlaid bar graphs of annual rainfall and El Nino activity,
as published by The Los Angeles Times last year.
I couldn't see any substantive correlation.
Neither could my younger, smarter cousin...an electrical engineer P.E. that
is still making $$$ running a small Internet database shop.

But I do admit that the NOAA/meterologists did nail the El Nino of 1997-8 (I think
that was the year) pretty well.


22 posted on 05/14/2006 5:48:57 PM PDT by VOA
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Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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23 posted on 07/11/2008 11:05:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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Martian meteorite remained cool enough to sustain life
Source: UPI
Published: Thursday, 26 October 2000 15:15 (ET)
Posted on 10/26/2000 15:16:44 PDT by Free the USA
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39f8ad4c2aa2.htm


24 posted on 07/11/2008 11:06:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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