Scotland was trapped in a mini ice age during the period known as the “boring billion”
The not so boring billion era: rocks reveal that Scotland was frozen a billion years ago in a mini ICE AGE when scientists thought the global climate was relatively stable
- Between 1,800 and 800 million years ago, not much has changed for the global climate
- But scientists have now found evidence of a mini ice age in this period
- Shows that the ‘boring billion’ years were not as boring as previously thought
Scientists have found evidence of a previously unknown ice age during a period known as the “boring billion.”
Rocks found near the village of Torridon in north-western Scotland were once part of icebergs in lakes, when glaciers dominated the highlands.
Academics from the University of Aberdeen discovered that the rocks date between 1,800 and 800 million years ago.
This geological period has always been considered the dullest time in the history of the earth because not much happened with the climate, the tectonic activity or the biological evolution of the planet.
Scotland is said to be in a location similar to modern South Africa and the evidence points to a mini ice age, which brings excitement to an otherwise boring time.
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Scientists have found evidence of a previously unknown ice age in Scotland (photo, site of the study) during a period known as the “boring billion,” which was thought not to have changed much in Earth’s climate
WHAT IS THE BAD BILLION?
The ‘boring billion’ is a period in which the climate on earth was very calm.
It is thought that very little has changed between 1,800 and 800 million years ago.
The most advanced life on earth was algae and the oxygen levels were much lower than today.
but it was thought that no serious ice ages or volcanic activity took place, meaning that the status quo could be maintained for around a billion years.
The study, published in the Scottish Journal of Geology, claims that the ice age should be added to the others who have sown the early history of Europe.
Professor Adrian Hartley, who led the study together with colleagues from the School of Geosciences of the University of Aberdeen, said: “In the Middle Ages of the Earth, not much happened on the planet.
“During this so-called” boring billion “, the global climate was moderate and unchanged.
“Life was limited to algae in the ocean, the land was completely barren and oxygen was 10 percent of what it is today.
“No evidence of climate change has been discovered so far, but our study has shown that there was ice on the face of the earth during this period.
Evidence of rocks found near the Scottish village of Torridon revealed that rubble fell from melting icebergs in lakes
Professor Adrian Hartley, who led the study in the Scottish Highlands (photo) of the University of Aberdeen’s School of Geosciences, found evidence that the “boring billion” was not as quiet as previously expected
“We made the discovery by analyzing sludge-like sediments over a billion years old, allowing us to identify locations where pebbles had fallen through melting icebergs and impact features on the bottom of the lake, distorting even older layers of sediment.
“Similar studies have enabled us to reconstruct the recent ice age history of the Earth, but this brings us much further back in time to when Scotland was at 35 ° S – the same latitude as South Africa.
“It’s the first evidence worldwide for ice age right now in Earth’s history – it proves it’s not such a boring billion.”
There have been at least five documented major ice ages in the history of the earth, with much smaller ones too.
The most recent ice age occurred during the Pleistocene era between 2.6 million and 11,700 years ago.