Dust from a collision with a giant asteroid in space allowed the earth to freeze, triggering a biodiversity boom 466 million years ago, scientists say.
A 150-kilometer-wide asteroid erupted between Mars and Jupiter that were thrown down Huge amounts of dust toward Earth block the sun's light and cause dramatic global cooling.
The dust drifted down to Earth over a period of 2 million years, which meant that the species gradually adapted enough. New creatures have evolved to survive in regions with different temperatures.
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It may be tempting to believe that humans could do geotechnics to develop a similar dust shower to global warming, but researchers are wary of such proposals.
] "Geoengineering proposals should be examined very critically and very carefully, because if things go wrong, things can get worse than before," said researcher Philipp Heck, curator at the Field Museum and associate professor at the University of Chicago.
Prior to this research, the cause of the Ice Age was a mystery, according to the article published in Science Advances .
Space dust of asteroids and comets is normal – the earth gains about 40,000 tons of extraterrestrial material every year – but the explosion
"Our hypothesis is that the large amounts of extraterrestrial dust over a period of at least 2 million years an important Role in changing the climate on Earth have played to cool down, "said Mr. Heck.
"We have studied extraterrestrial matter, meteorites and micrometeorites in the sediment record of the earth, which means rocks that once were seabed.
And then we extracted extraterrestrial matter to find out what it was and where it came from.
The team extracted extraterrestrial matter by treating the stone with an acid that eats the stone. Then they searched for elements that rarely occur in rocks of the earth.
For example, helium atoms usually have two protons, two neutrons, and two electrons, but some that are shot from space lack a neutron. The presence of these helium isotopes as well as the presence of rare metals in asteroids prove that the dust originates from space.
Lead author Birger Schmitz of Swedish University Lund said: "The timing seems to be perfect. The extra dust in the atmosphere helps explain the Ice Age – by filtering out the sunlight, the dust would cause global cooling.
Although this cooling has proved beneficial to life on Earth, rapid climate change is catastrophic.
"The global slowdown we're studying is about timescales of millions of years," Heck said.
"It's very different from the climate change caused by the meteorite 65 million years ago that killed the dinosaurs and it's different from global warming today – this global slowdown was a gentle push." There was less stress. "
Mr. Heck said it is undeniable that the world is experiencing global warming.
Regarding the geo-engineering options, he said, "We need to think about how we can prevent catastrophic consequences, or minimize them. Every reasonable idea should be investigated. "