750 million years ago the Earth was in its ice age with its oceans nearly completely frozen! But, what pulled the planet out of its severe ‘snowball state’?
It is the ratio of incident to reflected solar radiation that cover a wide range of the phenomenon. The researchers sought to quantify the relative sensitivity of various surface albedos on the same climate model as it emerges from a snowball state.
They discovered the range of ice, snow, and land albedos and the resulting minimum carbon dioxide ‘greenhouse forcing’ have deglaciated the Neoproterozoic snowball Earth. They believe that ‘greenhouse forcing’ can vary by nearly an order of magnitude within the accepted albedo ranges! – according to the physics of deglaciation — in terms of –
snow and ice dynamics,
— atmospheric processes needs to be better modeled.
Picture courtesy: USGS