US News Massive Comet Led The Earth To Experience a Mini Ice Age 13,000 Years Ago, Researchers Say

09:12  05 february  2018
09:12  05 february  2018 Source:   europe.newsweek.com

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Around 12,800 years ago the northern hemisphere was hit by the Younger Dryas mini ice age , or “Big Freeze”, says this article in New Scientist. Analysis of charcoal and pollen records from around 13 , 000 years ago showed no evidence of continental-scale fires the cometary impact theory suggests.

Scientists believe these carvings could depict an ancient comet strike 13 , 000 years ago . The discovery also supports the theory that Earth experiences times when comet strikes are more likely, due to the planet's orbit intersecting with rings of cometary fragments.

a sunset in the background: 2_4_Fire © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 2_4_Fire Towards the end of the ice age, a massive firestorm broke out after fragments of a comet that measured more than 60 miles wide, struck the planet. Dust clouds created from the fire went on to cover the Earth leading to a mini ice age, according to an international team of scientists.

The team of researchers came to this hypothesis after examining samples of rock and other deposits collected from more than 170 sites across the globe.

“The hypothesis is that a large comet fragmented and the chunks impacted the Earth, causing this disaster,” Adrian Melott, study author and emeritus astrophysics professor at The University of Kansas, said in a statement.

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Toward the end of the ice age , a massive firestorm broke out after fragments of a comet that measured more than 60 miles wide, struck the planet. Dust clouds created from the fire went on to cover the Earth leading to a mini ice age , according to an international team of scientists.

“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.” Aletsch glacier during the Ice age, Switzerland, drawing. © Getty Aletsch glacier during the Ice age, Switzerland, drawing.

Melott and his colleagues work, which is broken up into two studies published in The Journal of Geology, also conclude that pieces of the comet—that they believe hit the planet about 13,000 years ago—are still floating around in our solar system.

In addition to rocks and glaciers, the team also examined pollen. The pollen levels they saw led them to believe that the fire burned off acres of pine forests, which were later replaced with poplar trees that colonized the open land.

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The mini ice age which followed the comet is called the Younger Dryas and this particular mini ice age lasted for 1, 000 years and was an extremely important time in our human history as this is when Neolithic civilization first began.

His latest book, Magicians Of The Gods, presented findings from all over the world as he argued that a mini Ice Age had swept the planet around 13 , 000 years ago , following a comet strike that caused devastating earthquakes and tsunamis.

Other types of plants and food sources were affected too, which ultimately lead humans to adapt to severe conditions.

“Computations suggest that the impact would have depleted the ozone layer, causing increases in skin cancer and other negative health effects,” Melott said. “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.”

Although previous researchers have suggested a comet kicked off the Earth’s mini age, the latest body of work adds perhaps the most in-depth dive into the theory.

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