Journal Highlights

Initiation of Snowball Earth with volcanic sulfur aerosol emissions

Editors’ Highlight—This paper proposes that volcanic activity, specifically the injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, directly led to the Sturtian glaciation, the first Neoproterozoic global glaciation event. The authors test the plausibility of their hypothesis with three low-order atmospheric models which assess the height to which hot, buoyant sulfur-bearing plumes from fire fountains could reach in the atmosphere; the chemical and microphysical evolution of sulfur in the atmosphere; and the radiative effects of sulfate aerosols once they formed. The idea that volcanic sulfur aerosol emissions can be a mechanism for a rapid increase in planetary albedo and thus trigger a rapid glaciation, or Snowball Earth event, presents a new perspective on Earth’s history and has implications for paleoclimate, exoplanets, and geo-engineering.

A perfect storm of fire and ice may have led to snowball Earth

Blog—What caused the largest glaciation event in Earth’s history, known as ‘snowball Earth’?

Geologists and climate scientists have been searching for the answer for years but the root cause of the phenomenon remains elusive.

Now, Harvard University researchers have a new hypothesis about what caused the runaway glaciation that covered the Earth pole-to-pole in ice…more


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Featured Special Collection

Early Results: Juno at Jupiter 

Early results from Juno's mission at Jupiter including approach to Jupiter and the first perijove pass (PJ1). Juno's scientific objectives include the study of Jupiter's interior, atmosphere and polar magnetosphere with the goal of understanding Jupiter's origin, formation and evolution. This collection of papers provides early results from Juno's measurements of the gravity and magnetic fields, deep atmospheric microwave sounding, infrared, visible and ultraviolet images/spectra and an array of fields and particles instruments as well as context for the early results with respect to current theory and models of Jupiter's formation and evolution. Topics include both Juno - Jupiter related theoretical models and data analysis as well as collaborative observations made from Earth based assets.