Comet Impact during Ancient Times could have led to Warming of Planet

Comet Impact during Ancient Times could have led to Warming of Planet

Geological records suggest that during ancient times, a comet impacted the temperature on our planet and led to fast change after the impact. The impact led to thousands of gigatons of carbon release in the atmosphere. The dramatic global warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) could have happened 55 million years ago on our planet, as per a new research paper.

The catastrophic comet could have led to quick rise in temperature of the planet by nearly 8 degrees. The research team found small glass globules in rock core samples as far apart as New Jersey and Bermuda.

The study details have been published in the journal Science. Study author Morgan Schaller, an assistant professor for earth and environmental science at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York said, “There’s never really been any firm physical evidence of that happening. But this is the first evidence of an impact at this time for sure.”

The comet impact could have led to rise in ocean level and acidity. Research lead Schaller added that the coincidence of an impact with a major climate change is nothing short of remarkable.

A report published in CS Monitor informed, “While modern humans hardly spare a second thought for potential extraterrestrial impacts, comets and meteors still speed by the Earth, from a massive meteor impact off the coast of Brazil to a huge comet that passed by the Earth in March, to relatively little fanfare.”

"There are a lot of impacts through history, but that it seems to coincide so precisely with this global warming event is a tantalizing coincidence," says Schaller. He says it’s possible that the event triggered super intense magnitude 10 earthquakes, causing the release of methane that had been stored deep within the ocean. Or the impact may have caused a rash of super active volcanoes — big producers of carbon dioxide.