Snowball Earth

Snowball Earth

2008, Science  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 8.16/10 from 70 users.

Over 650 million years ago, our entire planet existed in a frozen state. So speculates the hypothesis known as Snowball Earth. The mounting evidence of this controversial phenomenon is explored in great depth in the second episode of Catastrophe series, as scientists and geologist comb the farthest reaches of the globe in search of the next clue of Earth's rich and elusive history.

The film begins in the Australian Outback. There, geologists have uncovered the existence of dropstones, a rock fragment that is thought to only occur in the presence of ice formations. How then are these dropstones detected in the middle of a desert wasteland? Geobiologist Dr. Joe Kirschvink, an esteemed researcher who first coined the phrase Snowball Earth, has located these same stones in the United States along the stretch of desert known as Death Valley. The magnetic readings of these rocks date back many hundreds of millions of years to a time when Snowball Earth theorists claim our planet was gripped by the greatest ice age in its history.

"The entire Earth would have looked like Antarctica looks today," contends Dr. Kirschvink. "Even areas as desolate as Death Valley would be under several meters of ice. The whole planet would be a snowball."

If our planet was indeed in a state of deep freeze 650 million years ago, what was the inciting incident? Ice ages which occurred before and since are explained through the rotation of the Earth and its growing distance from the thawing warmth of the sun. However, in those instances, only up to a third of the planet's surface is thought to have been covered in ice. Snowball Earth theorists believe that the culprit behind this global freeze involved the absence of carbon dioxide, a compounds that plays the featured role in determining the temperature of our planet.

How did any form of life survive such relentlessly bleak and destructive conditions? With authoritative insight, Snowball Earth investigates these and other factors which support this surprising narrative, and offers speculation on how the existence of the human species may fare should another such event occur in our planet's future.

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11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Juan

    The earth is not protected it will probably destroy millions years after!

  2. IcyHot

    If any of this is true to any degree, then burning or breathing, to make CO2 would be a good thing, so the coming ice age won't be as severe as the one described. Just do it without the other polluting by-products.

    Hopefully the amount of people putting out CO2 will be enough to keep the planet green (PLANTS NEED CO2) and warm, rather than icy.

    The ONLY reason "global warming" was changed to "climate change" was due to the fact the actual data showed the planet was heading for a cooling phase. And there are many actual climate scientists who agree. It is only a matter of putting in a web search for climate scientists who disagree with global warming. That is if your favorite search engine is any good.

    Or you can listen to the Globalist agenda driven government and major media, claim everyone who drives a car is evil, in order to feel superior about yourself while you pollute the world with nuclear waste, electric car battery waste, or sacrifice yourself to a false flag attack on your mass transit.

  3. Joseph Gilliat

    The Earth is speeding up in Space time, like, one day is one week, soon we are coming to the border of Space time.

  4. Adarsha

    Too many speculations in this documentary. Its like millions of years later someone finds a rock from kilimanjaro and another from Himalaya, and speculates both were close to equator and hence the whole earth was frozen. I still buy this theory because it agrees with my mythology ;-)

  5. Jack Lass

    With reference to the comment of Rajiv Mandu: Right on sir. We should always remember that "The Mother of Fools is Always Pregnant". Likewise, to quote the late Christopher Hitchens: "Assertions made without evidence may be dismissed without evidence."

  6. Rajiv Mandu

    CO2 traps heat, amplifying it. Oxygen doesn't. Understanding this simple chemistry would help one to form an informed opinion. Just as understanding when to use quotation marks and capital letters would help to communicate effectively and lend some credibility to a posting. Scientists paid off to make public statements are never qualified in the fields they comment on, such as those paid off by the tobacco and oil industry to deny smoking causes injury and deny co2 emissions increase atmospheric levels (and deny that there is any effect if the do). None of the spokespersons denying climate science findings have any qualifications in the study of climate, and all are funded by oil companies. None of the climate scientists warning of climate effects from co2 emissions were paid to make those statements, who would pay someone to do that, and why? There is no economic agenda backing climate change. Climate change is bad for everyone, we all lose. The only funding climate scientists receive is the same funding ALL academics and scientists receive in every field. It is how research is done. All research and field work costs money. There are no lies for profit, there is no profit to be had from climate change. There are billions to be lost cutting emissions enough to save the earth as we know it. Some of those billions are funding the misinformation that no matter how badly we pollute the oceans and our atmosphere, nothing is going to happen that wouldn't happen if mankind never existed. You have to be pretty isolated and undereducated to accept that as having any possibility of being true.

    1. Geo

      The major corporations profit big time by getting government to pass environmental laws. This increased government called Socialism makes much of their new competition go away. The true purpose of Socialism has always been to get rid of the competition, for power(control) and/or profit. Follow the money and don't stop at an emotionally government school/media indoctrinated convenient spot.

      What small company can afford to deal with all the time(oftentimes years) to deal with all the red tape and regulations that the big boys can take in stride? Read "None dare call it conspiracy" by Gary Allen and "Call it conspiracy" by Larry Abraham

      No one wants pollution. Unfortunately the banksters who own the major corporations prefer profits. Sadly the more they pollute, the more enviro laws get passed, thereby eliminating more competition. And the more govt there is (to manage those enviro laws) the easier it is to buy them or insert your people into it.

      Do a bit more homework please. Anyone who doesn't think there is huge profit in so called "climate change" hasn't done their homework. Many years ago "climate change was called "global cooling" about the time a warming trend was about to start. Then towards the latter part of that warmer period called "global warming" and with all the evidence of that, pencil whipped and computer modeled, which models weren't even close to being accurate or worthy of paying any attention to, again about the time signs of "global cooling" approaching again; so then then the name change to "climate change" since the evidence didn't support "global warming" and hasn't for the past couple of decades. If any of the claims were true, those retaining waterfront property in their family for over 100 years would have noticed. I have personally heard some who have stated that the water has risen in times of storms but things go back to where they always were. Why all the yelling about climate?

      The hucksters like Al Gore and others who have made a fortune off of promoting the investing into "enviro conscience companies" many of which Al Gore had a large stake in.

      Then there are all the Enviro groups; many which have lawyers making a tidy donated income who never, ever mention ChemTrails or Climate Engineering, making them a joke. If you think that isn't happening, you haven't done your homework. It causes both pollution And warming in certain areas and cooling in others; basically the opposite of what would be good and natural. Which is also for profit and control.

      Then there are all the govt and private sector jobs and biz to create and process all the Environmental Impact Statements, most which have been pencil whipped as well.

      Then there are the books and disaster movies, and textbooks for the kiddies, to scare people into supporting the propaganda.

      The biggest threat? Emotionalized misinformation. Propaganda. And ChemTrails. If you want to save the world, stop the ChemTrails. I and the world will thank you. Watch "What in the world are they spraying" and "Why in the world are they spraying" and do some homework.

  7. Haut

    CO2 does "NOT" create heat, or "COLD" it follows them! Can a :REAL" scientist explain this please. Not a paid off hack who will agree with anything to keep his job!

  8. ProudinUS

    It's lame!

  9. Fabien L

    I like that serie, interesting scientists and nice animations.

  10. User_1

    Interesting. I wonder how most of the scientists are viewing this theory?