“Planet Earth’s Big Bang” –‘Triggered By an Immense Collision in Space 470 Million Years Ago’

 

Within a geological blink on an eye, a span of only 10 million years, the number of species on the planet tripled. This exotic phenomenon took place within a 40-million-year florescence of life, unlike any before or since known as the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, the biggest expansion of biodiversity in Earth’s history.

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Storyboard of an Extraterrestrial Monster –Greenland’s Hidden Hiawatha Impact Crater

 

Buried beneath the Hiawatha Glacier is an ancient 31-kilometer-wide impact crater, left when an iron asteroid 1.5 kilometers across slammed into what is today Greenland, possibly within the past 100,000 years reports Paul Voosen in Science. Big enough to swallow Washington, D.C., the crater was detected by Kurt Kjær, a geologist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, and 21 co-authors reported this week in Science Advances. The crater was left when an iron asteroid 1.5 kilometers across slammed into Earth, possibly within the past 100,000 years.

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Today’s Planet Earth Report –“Massive Buried Ice-Age Asteroid Crater to Ocean Floor is Dissolving”

 

 

The “Planet Earth Report” connects you to the day’s news headlines on the discoveries, people, and events changing our planet and the future of the human species.

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“Key to Decoding Mars?” –Climate Change Hits the Oldest, Driest Desert on Earth: The Atacama

 

“Our group has discovered that, contrary to what could be expected intuitively, the never-before-seen rainfall has not triggered a flowering of life in Atacama, but instead, the rains have caused enormous devastation in the microbial species that inhabited the region before the heavy precipitations,” said Dr. Alberto G. Fairén, visiting scientist at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, who focuses on early Mars environments.
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“Earth’s Apocalypse” –Is Mars Our Planet B? ‘Human Pioneers Living There Would Quickly Become a New Species’

 

 

During the rise of mammals, following the Chicxulub impact (above) that ended the dinosaur epoch with the force of 300 million nuclear bombs, the planet’s temperatures spiked in a spooky way that the planet may experience again and soon. The planet’s leading climate scientists, including the late Stephen Hawking, are predicting that Earth will soon reach a tipping point and that the human species we’ll need an escape plan, an insurance policy, a Planet B.

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“Sentinel Species of the 6th Mass Extinction” –Marine Mammals May Not Survive the Anthropocene

 

 

“Marine mammals, such as manatees or bottlenose dolphins, are sentinel species—the canary in the coal mine,” says Nathan Clark,  associate professor in Pitt’s Department of Computational and Systems Biology, and the Pittsburgh Center for Evolutionary Biology and Medicine. “If you follow their health, it will tell you a lot about potential environmental issues that could eventually affect humans.”

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