N&N: Algae sustain galciation
“New and Noted” in PLoS ONE
Biological Feedbacks as Cause and Demise of Neoproterozoic Icehouse: Astrobiological Prospects for Faster Evolution and Importance of Cold Conditions.
Janhunen P, Kaartokallio H, Oksanen I, Lehto K, Lehto H (2007) PLoS ONE 2(2): e214. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000214
The earth has experienced several glacial periods in its history. This study presents a model that explains the severity of the Cryogenian glaciation (630–850 million years ago) as a result of the profusion of algae in the seas and attributes its abrupt end to the evolution of more complex organisms. If true, snow and glaciers may be clues to detecting life around distant suns.