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“Snowball Earth” Once Covered in 1,000 Feet of Ice

posted: 04/14/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Kepler 62e
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Artist impression of frozen exoplanet Kepler 62e that may resemble our ancient snowball-Earth.
NASA/JPL-CALTECH

From Discovery News

A new study shows Earth's temperature plunged to Arctic temperatures -- in Florida, Egypt and other lands near the planet's supposedly warmer equatorial regions during a radical climate shift known as "Snowball Earth."

This finding is based on analysis of oxygen isotopes in rocks bathed in the meltwater of ancient glaciers and shows annual mean temperatures of minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder during a planet-wide deep-freeze roughly 2.4 billion years ago.

The new data indicate Earth's global oceans froze into a blanket of ice and glaciers 1,000 feet thick, challenging theories that open patches of water existed in the equatorial regions during the first of at least two Snowball Earth periods.

Click here for the full story from Discovery News

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