News of the WeekCLIMATOLOGY

Did an Ancient Deep Freeze Nearly Doom Life?

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Science  28 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5381, pp. 1259-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5381.1259

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A group of Harvard researchers propose that around 700 million years ago, a series of all-enveloping ice ages created a "snowball" Earth and nearly snuffed out life. Coated by ice and snow from pole to pole, the planet slept on for millions of years, according to this theory reported on page 1342, until it was finally roused by its own volcanic emanations.