Massive Comet Set Earth On Fire, Triggered Ice Age 12000 Years Ago

Posted: Feb 4 2018, 12:13am CST | by , Updated: Feb 4 2018, 12:21am CST, in Latest Science News


This story may contain affiliate links.

Massive Comet Set Earth on Fire, Triggered Ice Age 12000 Years Ago
Credit: James Thew

New study says that comet impact set the climate into a colder, almost “ice age” state that lasted a thousand years

Around 12,800 years ago, the Earth was hit by a massive comet. A huge amount of soot and other material hurtled into the atmosphere from global wildfires following the strike and blocked the sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface. The event dramatically altered Earth’s climate and the planet became too cold for animals to survive. Plants died and death cascaded through food sources. Dropping temperatures sent the world into an almost ice age kind of state that lasted a thousand years.

The story has been around for many years and has been investigated before. The new study also lends supports to the hypothesis that Earth was struck by a massive comet around 12,000 years ago and the event triggered an ice age.

The new details about how the climate could have dramatically changed following the impact of a comet are split into two papers.

“The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster,” said Professor Adrian Melott from University of Kansas. “A number of different chemical signatures — carbon dioxide, nitrate, ammonia and others — all seem to indicate that an astonishing 10 percent of the Earth’s land surface, or about 10 million square kilometers, was consumed by fires.”

To investigate the phenomenon, researchers collected data from 170 different sites around the world. The data suggests that the planet cooled off when Earth collided with a roughly 62 miles wide comet fragment and its remnants still exist in our solar system.

Analyses of charcoal and soot records from 152 lakes, marine cores, and terrestrial sequences reveal a major peak in biomass burning after comet impact. Other evidences also show that the biomass burning occurred at the same time that a large comet hit the Earth.

“Computations suggest that the impact would have depleted the ozone layer, causing increases in skin cancer and other negative health effects,” said Melott. “The impact hypothesis is still a hypothesis, but this study provides a massive amount of evidence, which we argue can only be all explained by a major cosmic impact.”

This story may contain affiliate links.


Find rare products online! Get the free Tracker App now.

Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Pomsies, Oculus Go, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




comments powered by Disqus