Sunday, March 29, 2015
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Research conducted by the British Antarctic Survey, found that the volcanoes played an extremely crucial and essential role in protecting lives when the world was going through periodic ice age. The planets have been cooling as well as an ice cover has been extending right from the poles so as to cover huge sections of the surface of planet in the history of earth in regular intervals of time. It is even conjectured that around 650 million years back, the whole world was completely covered with a thick ice sheet- this is the snowball earth situation or scenario.
Recent scientific thinking states that as the ice gets extended from the respective poles animal and plant life wanders towards the equator. However, the research undertaken by the BAS shows that, volcanoes assist in keeping the life going on even in the freezing conditions at least in Antarctica. Professor Peter Convey, who is a member of the BAS team says, approximately 60 per cent Antarctic invertebrate species have been seen in nowhere else all over the globe other than Antarctica. He also adds that the species have evidently not arrived over the continent lately, but they should have been there almost for millions and millions of years.
How these species survived the previous ice ages, the latest of which ended round about 20,000 years back, has puzzled the scientists a big time. The team took over a survey of almost 39,000 different organisms on Antarctica. This comprised of 1,823 taxa, all across the chilled icy continent. They surprisingly noticed that the highly populated areas of that specific continent were near the volcanoes that are active today as well, or which seem to be active since the previous glacial utmost 20,000 years ago.