Scientists: the comet is about to have caused extinction 56 million years ago


About 56 million years ago, during the first era after extinction of dinosaurs, rather large comet whose falling is about to have caused the next mass extinction of life has fallen to America and has turned climate of Earth into “hotbed” on several hundreds of thousands of years, it is told in article published in the Science magazine.

“Most likely, this falling is directly connected about a Palaeocene-eotsenovym by a temperature maximum. Warming and falling of a comet have happened practically at the same time, and it as we consider, wasn’t accident. If communication between a comet and warming is, then it means that this climate change and the related emission of carbonic acid in the atmosphere were actually instant” — Morgan Schaller from Renessaler’s Institute in Troy (USA) tells.

It is about so-called Paleotsenovym-eotsenovom a temperature maximum – the period of extremely warm climate on Earth which has begun about 56 million years ago, at the beginning of the Eocene, an era of restoration of life on the planet after extinction of dinosaurs. This warming has happened very quickly, for 5-20 thousand years, and it continued about 200 thousand years. Today scientists use PETM as the closest analog of the current global warming.

Temperatures during this maximum were 5-8 degrees higher, than today thanks to what all planet represented a tropical garden, even poles of Earth were free from ice. Approach of this period was followed by strange changes in flora and fauna of oceans, and many other inexplicable things. All this forces geologists to argue fiercely about the fact that it was the cause of this warming – eruptions of volcanoes, some other geological factors or something else.

Shaller and his colleagues have opened unexpected confirmations of one of the alternative theories explaining it “global warming” – falling to Earth of a large comet, studying the deposits of the Eocene created about 56 million years ago during a transition period between a Palaeocene and the Eocene in the territory of the State of New Jersey.

Scientists have found so-called mikrotektita and mikrokristita in these deposits – small balls from the melted-off breeds which usually arise during the falling of asteroids or comets, fusion and bystry hardening of drops of the breeds which are thrown out by them at collision with Earth. The chemical composition and high temperatures at which there were these balls indicate that they have resulted from blow of a celestial body, but not during eruptions of volcanoes.

In this case, as researchers believe, the comet as comets comprise a large number of organic chemistry and carbon which combustion and oxidation could raise sharply CO2 share in the atmosphere fell to the eotsenovy Ground and cause sharp warming of climate.

Besides, falling of asteroids and comets as the scientists studying a crater of the asteroid which has destroyed dinosaurs have found out recently, similar falling can “beat out” oil from a subsoil of Earth and set fire to her, and also provoke powerful series of eruptions of volcanoes actually in an every spot on the globe. All this as Shaller and his colleagues consider, could cause a Palaeocene-eotsenovy a temperature maximum.

As it often happens in geology and paleontology, similar conclusions have already met scepticism of other geologists. As the press service of university of Colombia transfers, two famous geologists, Charles Langmuir and Gerald Dickens adhering to the volcanic theory have already doubted conclusions of authors of article, having noted that falling of a comet wasn’t obligatory is connected with warming. The problem is complicated that the crater left this cataclysm isn’t found yet, and before his detection disputes will only amplify.

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