Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) examined several scenarios that led the planet into an ice age. They suggested that the processes that led to the temporary freezing of the planet, had to push it to a critical threshold at which the amount of solar light and carbon dioxide reached such low levels that the planet was covered with ice and snow, becoming like a snowball.

According to scientists, these processes could be running wide activity of volcanic eruptions or biologically triggered by the formation of clouds that could block the sun’s rays, according to a published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A article.

“you can Have a planet that remains within the classical habitable zone, but if the amount of sunlight is changing too fast, you can get a snowball from the planet,” says lead author Andrew Arnstadt, graduate of the Department of Earth, atmospheric and planetary Sciences Massachusetts Institute of technology (EAPS).

Scientists confirmed their theory on a specially developed model, repeating climate changes, more than 700 million years ago, when the Earth became similar to the snow of the Ice age. According to the estimates of Arnstadt to go into a global Ice age, the Earth must have experienced approximately 2% reduction of incoming sunlight for about 10,000 years.

Discovery scientists warns that people should be attentive not only to the volumes of climate change climate, but also to their speed.

“Perhaps there are other such tipping points, caused by anthropogenic warming. The identification of these factors and their critical values is an important task for further research”, – scientists believe.