“The Great Collision” –Epic Unprecedented Change to Life On Earth

Oxygen Clouds

 

“Contrary to our first expectations, global climate was not the primary cause of this change in ocean oxygen and nitrogen cycling,” said biogeochemist Emma Kast currently at  the University of Cambridge about the planet’s dramatic increase in oxygen 55 million years ago. The more likely culprit? Plate tectonics. The collision of India with Asia — dubbed “the collision that changed the world” by Columbia University geoscientist Wally Broecker, a pioneer in the ocean’s role in climate change.— closed off an ancient sea called the Tethys, disturbing the continental shelves and their connections with the open ocean.

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