Bacteria caused Ice Age 2.3 billion years ago

Posted on Monday, Aug 08 2005 @ 02:51 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
I found an interesting article over at Slashdot regarding one of the worst Ice Ages ever. This happened around 2.3 billion years ago when blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, gained the ability to break down water. This resulted in a huge flood of oxygen into the atmosphere which broke down atmospheric methane.
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.
Read on at CNET


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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