I attended a talk last week by Francis Macdonald, discussing his work on Snowball Earth geology. He touched on the "Fire and Ice" hypothesis for the initiation of the Snowball, and I thought I would interpret it in ballad form. Needs a little work and maybe another verse, so feel free to critique.
In late Proterozoic times
the Earth was calm and warm
A billion peaceful years since the
Great Oxidative Storm
Bacteria and algae thrived
within the balmy seas
The single cell was living well
and life was at its ease.
But continents were gathered near
the tropic latitudes
And recently resurfaced
by volcanic interludes
The fresh basalt reacted with
warm rain and CO2
And turned them into carbonate,
as such reactions do.
The runoff full of nutrients
caused ocean life to bloom,
Leaving more carbon buried deep
beneath the seafloor's gloom.
The atmosphere was quickly running
low on greenhouse gas
The temperatures dropping fast,
the icecaps gaining mass.
When ice arrived in tropic climes
the planet's fate was sealed;
The oceans locked beneath the ice,
their surfaces congealed.
The Sturtian glaciation
thus began its lengthy reign;
Some fifty million years would pass
Before the ice would wane.