If a meteorite hits the Earth, its size – Science – life will not destroy us




We have a lot to thank meteorites for. If they hadn’t started several mass extinction events, including the destruction of terrestrial dinosaurs, we probably wouldn’t be here today. But scientists still can’t figure out some things that don’t fit the scale of the destruction they can cause.


Source: RTS

Photo: Profimedia

Photo: Profimedia

Scientists have been baffled for decades by the fact that some meteorites are causing mass extinctions and others, much more, are not, says sedimentologist Chris Stevenson of the University of Liverpool, who is on scientific alert.

Mass extinctions are usually attributed to sudden cold spells that occur due to the large amount of exploited soil that obstructs sunlight, destroys plants and algae, and pushes the planet into an ice age.

From this, it could be concluded that the meteorite is larger, will have a greater ability to throw more dust into the atmosphere, and will have a greater impact on the Earth’s biosphere than smaller ones.

But geological records of the Earth do not confirm this conclusion.

“It’s amazing when we collect the data,” Stevenson explains. “Life went on normally during the fourth largest meteorite impact, leaving a crater nearly 48 kilometers in diameter, while a smaller average impact caused a massive extinction just five million years ago.”

Sudden cold spells usually last only a few years, but atmospheric dust can survive for up to 100,000 years.

Thus, geochemist Matthew Pankharst of the Spanish Institute of Technology and Renewable Energy and his colleagues analyzed this dust expelled by 44 meteorite blows over 600 million years.

“Using this new method to estimate the mineral content on the cover of ejected meteorites, we show that every time a meteorite, large or small, hits rocks rich in potassium feldspar, it correlates with a mass extinction event,” explains Stevenson. .

It depends on what the meteorite will send into the atmosphere

This has been constantly repeated over the last 600 million years.

“The impact of meteorites on rocks poor in potassium feldspar determines the intensity of extinction,” says a team of researchers in their recently published article.

Feldspars are aluminum silicate rocks, crystallized from magma, which account for about 60 percent of the Earth’s crust. Potassium feldspar is common in many countries and, unlike other substances released into the atmosphere during meteorite strikes – such as acidic oil-inducing kiosks – is a safe, non-reactive chemical.

However, potassium feldspar is a powerful aerosol that forms an ice core, which means that it can significantly change the composition of the cloud.

Therefore, scientists assume that when the immediate effects of the Earth’s soil explosion on the atmosphere (which affects the onset of winter) disappear, the chemistry of what is left in the air comes into play.

In the case of normal clay dust, the climate system will return to normal soon, but in the case of potassium feldspar, it continues to alter the dynamics of the Earth’s clouds in two key ways.

Chemical imbalance

More minerals forming the ice core in the air means that the clouds will contain a higher proportion of ice crystals, unlike the dense water droplets that are normally found in the lower, warmer parts of the sky, making make these clouds more transparent.

This reduces the reflection effect that clouds with water droplets usually have (their albedo, a measure of how much light is reflected on the surface of a body), allowing more light to warm the planet.

Weak albedo also suppresses cloud cooling mechanisms, increasing climate impact. This, in turn, makes the entire climate system more vulnerable to other disturbances, such as increased emissions from volcanic eruptions.

Some of the largest volcanic events in the world are not related to mass extinction, but others are. And these are also associated with more potassium feldspar in our atmosphere.

“Many extinction mechanisms are highly variable related to extinction events over geological time: they coincide with these rare periods of climate destabilization by atmospheric potassium feldspar,” the researchers wrote.

It’s amazing how monkey can be a net that isn’t directly harmful to us when it’s in the wrong place.

“This strongly suggests that the movement of severe extinction episodes is a change in atmospheric function,” Pankharst and colleagues wrote.

“Anthropogenic activities can have a similar impact on the climate with the rapid introduction of aerosols into the atmosphere that affect the dynamics of clouds,” say scientists.

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